This Week in Indiana Cross Country
Bloomington, IN - This week the No. 34 Indiana women's cross country team continues its season Oct. 10 at the Auburn Invitational at Indian Pines Golf Course in Auburn, Ala. There will be more than 40 men's and women's teams at the meet, including No. 28 Tennessee and No. 35 Vanderbilt.
The No. 24 Indiana men's team is idle this week and returns to action Oct. 18 at the Pre-NCAA meet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Sean Jefferson - Big Ten Co-AOW: Indiana sophomore Sean Jefferson is the Big Ten Men's Cross Country Co-Athlete of the Week for the period ending Oct. 5. Jefferson shares the honor with Michigan's Nick Willis.
This marks the second time in Jefferson's career that he has earned the league's top weekly honor. He received his first award on Oct. 9, 2002 after his fifth place effort at the 20-team Indiana State Invitational helped the Hoosiers to a second place team finish.
Jefferson was a 2002 All-Big Ten selection in cross country, qualified for the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 5000m and finished 11th in the 1500m at the 2003 USA Track and Field Championships. He is one of seven athletes in IU history to break 14 minutes for 5000m in track.
In an 11-team Murray Keatinge Invitational field that included No. 1 Stanford and perennial NCAA Championship qualifying teams Butler and Florida, Jefferson was first for Indiana and fifth overall in a career-best 24:01 for 8000m. This helped the No. 19 Hoosiers to a third place team finish.
Oct. 4 Meet Recap: The No. 19 Indiana men's cross country and No. 32 Indiana women's cross country programs each turned in solid performances at the Murray Keatinge Invitational in Orono, Maine and the Indiana State Invite in Terre Haute.
Facing an 11-team Murray Keatinge Invitational field that included No. 1 Stanford and traditionally strong Butler, Florida and Oklahoma, the IU men took third place with 78 points. The Cardinals took five of the top eight spots to finish with 18 points, while Butler was second with 66 points.
Hoosier head coach Robert Chapman feels that his team is progressing at just the right pace.
"We had a solid day and accomplished our goals," Chapman said. "We came here to see how we would compete and compare with other teams, like Florida, that could contend for at-large berths to the NCAA meet. This is a great test for the Pre-NCAA meet in two weeks (in Terre Haute)."
Sophomore Sean Jefferson finished fifth overall with a career-best 8K time of 24:01.4. Jefferson was one of three IU runners to post career-best times on Saturday. Senior Chris Powers also had the best finish of his career, taking sixth overall at 24:04.4, and Eric Redman was 18th at 24:35. Tom Burns (23rd, 24:45.10), Chad Andrews (35th, 25:09.40), Charlie Koeppen (36th, 25:11.70), Nathan Gooden (42nd, 25:25.40) and Marcus Aguilar (46th,25:35.50) round out Indiana's lineup.
The Indiana men and women each sent their B team to the ISU Invite. Redshirt freshman Nick Kruse was the top men's 8K placer at 25:47, good for a 12th place finish. Matt Sweetman took 26th at 26:34, Nathan Purcell was 30th at 26:43 and Jeff Zeha was 48th at 27:25. Since only four Hoosier men competed at Indiana State, they did not register a team score.
"Kruse ran a great race for the first 8K of his career," IU graduate assistant coach Matt Moody said. "He ran especially well over the last 3K."
The women's B team took fifth in the 13-team ISU Invitational. For the second straight week, Julie Shields registered the best 6K time of her career, finishing 11th at 22:40. Jaime Higginbotham took 21st in 23:09.84, Heidi Crowley was 30th at 23:27.85 and Amber Miller was 40th at 23:41.8. Sarah Meyer finished 72nd in 24:29.51, Lynn Fossier was 75th in 24:36.90 and Valerie Rago was 102nd at 25:30.98.
Hoosiers Sweep Intercollegiates: When the Indiana men's and women's cross country programs swept the team titles at the Indiana Intercollegiates on Sept. 19, it marked the first time since 1988 that both Hoosier squads won the championship in the same season. The IU men took the top five places and seven of the top 10 to finish with a perfect 15 points en route to a third straight Indiana Intercollegiates championship, while the women captured their first intercollegiates team title since 1988.
National Polls: This marks the fourth straight week that both Indiana cross country programs are featured in the national polls. The IU men are No. 24, while the women are 34th.
Oct. 7 Apple Raceberry Jam Men's National Poll
2 Wisconsin (2)
3 Northern Arizona
6 Central Michigan
8 Colorado State
10 Iona College
11 Ohio State
13 Arizona State
16 Notre Dame
22 North Carolina State
23 William & Mary
27 Texas A&M
28 Washington State
29 Oklahoma State
30 Eastern Michigan
2 Stanford (1)
3 Arizona State
4 Michigan State
5 Notre Dame
6 North Carolina State
9 North Carolina
15 Northern Arizona
16 Wake Forest
18 Penn State
20 Colorado State
26 West Virginia
27 William & Mary
29 Florida State
-- Southwest Missouri State
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