Men Look to Carry Momentum Into Pre-NCAA's
October 10, 2000
Pre-NCAA's, the Race the Hoosiers Have Been Waiting For, Waits Around the Bend
Both the Indiana Men's and Women's Cross Country teams have been working daily in the summer and the season, hoping to prove that they belong in the national rankings and the NCAA Championships. The men, in fact, have proven that they belong on the poll list as the most recently released national poll placed them in the numbers above Princeton, Michigan, and Duke, among others. This Saturday, they will have the opportunity to prove that as the Iowa State University Cyclones host the Pre-NCAA meet in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, October 14th.
Athletes will get a taste of the toughest competition in the nation and their feet will get a feel for the course that will host the Championships on November 20th. The cross country course is located on the corner of Hayward Avenue and Mortensen Road. Runners will rise with the sun and make their dreams from the night come true as they follow the schedule below:
|9:30 a.m.||Men's 10,000 Meter "B" Race|
|10:30 a.m.||Men's 10,000 Meter "A" Race|
|11:30 a.m.||Women's 6,000 Meter "A" Race|
|12:15 p.m.||Women's 6,000 Meter "B" Race|
The Pre-NCAA meet has become a recent tradition as teams converge at the site of the NCAA Championships that season. Last year, Indiana hosted this meet. It is annually the most competitive meet outside of the NCAA Championship. Nearly all 30 of the top teams in the country compete in this tour of the NCAA course.
The "A" race is NCAA Division I only. All Division I teams will be accepted in the "A" race unless the "B" race is preferred. "A" race teams are limited to seven runners. The "B" race is open to all men's and women's collegiate divisions. Division I teams entered in the "A" race may run their 8th, 9th, 10th, etc. runners in the "B" race. The course will be available on Friday from noon to dark and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to race time for teams looking to lightly train out the tightness from travelling. Awards will be presented to the top three teams and top ten individual finishers in the "A" race while the winning individual and team will receive awards in the "B" race.
Making an Attack in Ames
Both the men's and women's teams view the Pre-NCAA meet as one of the most important competitions of the year. Looking at the schedule, this Saturday's setup is the last chance that both teams will have to face top-ranked teams in the nation and defeat as many as possible before wrapping up the season. Their performance at 'Pre-Nats' often determines the number of National berth votes that teams and individuals receive when they hang in the borders following Regionals. Besides the stakes, with the men breaking back into the national polls and the women desiring to prove their abilities, the Pre-NCAA race should prove to be exciting.
Racing for Results
Complete race results will be made available on the web at www.athletics.indiana.edu and www.cyclones.com following the event. In viewing the Indiana web site, results can be printed out by choosing the Men's and/or Women's Cross Country link(s) from the main menu. For more information contact Brooke Nash at (812) 855-9399 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of the Hoosiers
Dr. Robert Chapman begins his third season as Head Men's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. Last season, under Chapman's guidance, the Hoosiers jumped five spots in the Big Ten standings. One has to go back to 1993 to see the last time a team made such an improvement from one season to the next at the Big Ten Cross Country Championship. With his first recruiting class being one of the nation's best and the most recent containing the same grade of talent, Chapman is looking towards even greater success in 2000.
Judy Bogenschutz also begins her third season as Head Women's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. In the fall of 1999, Bogenschutz led the squad to it's making the largest single improvement by any team at the Big Ten Cross Country Championship since 1994. A handful of her distance runners were factors in the Indiana Women's Track and Field team's undefeated 2000 seasons and Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Championship team titles. Bogenschutz looks for that success to carry over into the fall.
Men's Coach Dr. Robert Chapman: "The Notre Dame race gave our guys a lot of confidence, and we've got some great momentum going into Pre-NCAA's this week. The timing for this to happen couldn't be better. The training and positive focus these guys have has been the key to get to this point, but now the killer racing insinct is starting to come through. The best teams in the nation will be at the Pre-NCAA's, and Indiana is now one of them."
Women's Coach Judy Bogenschutz: "There are 61 teams entered for a total of 427 runners. This will be the kind of race where each runner just needs to focus on getting into position and running the race they are capable of. We are hoping to rebound from last weekend's sub-par performance. The team was disappointed with how they ran and I think they will use that to their advantage this weekend."
Women's Poll Preview (as of October 9th)
Teams highlighted are those to appear at Pre-NCAA's Saturday:
|19||Texas A&M||South Central|
(Also receiving votes: Texas Christian, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Boston University, UCLA, W. Virginia, Ball State, New Orleans, Weber State)
And Now, Your Indiana Hoosiers
The women were highly disappointed by their performance at Notre Dame. Coach Bogenschutz will travel seven girls to Pre-NCAA's this weekend and will look for each one of them to prepare mentally to give a strong showing to rebound from their dismal day in South Bend. The women know along with their coach that they are capable of more and that they have prepared physically to achieve their goals this season. With only the Big Ten Championships left before Regionals, this weekend is the time to prove themselves.
Big Time Bell
Sophomore Amanda Bell's performance in the Indiana Intercollegiates in September earned her Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors. Her time of 17:45.71 left the nearest competitor 22 seconds behind her. Yet, Bell was far from satisfied and took 21st out of a field of 252 at the third largest meet in the nation, the Roy Griak Invitational. Her first 6K time registered at 21:46. Bell is looking to make it big time, her first hope being for her team to make their long-awaited NCAA berth. Bell will be called upon to turn in a top performance and be a leader for her team as they move into this month packed with pressure.
No Holding Down Hammond
Sophomore Allyson Hammond hasn't cooled off after qualifying for Junior Nationals in the summer of 2000 and competing in the 1500m against national caliber runners. She posted a fifth place time of 4:39. Bogenschutz is looking for Hammond to repeat her 1999 pattern of consistent improvement every meet. Hammond finished second for her team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a 5K time of 18:21.46 and ran within seven seconds of teammate Amanda Bell at the Roy Griak Invite. Hammond took 28th with a 6K time of 21:53. At Notre Dame, Hammond ran 18:05 for 5K. Hammond is hungry for an NCAA Championship berth and will look to boost her performance as well as her team's this weekend.
Moving Up Magley
The 1999 cross country season saw junior Stephanie Magley post her top two collegiate career times. She is one of the most experienced Hoosiers and her transition from a runner to a racer has already begun to shine this season. In both the 2000 Sam Bell Invitational and the Indiana Intercollegiates, Magley finished third for the team with impressive times of 15:31.77 for 4K and 18:56.12 for 5K. Magley didn't let pressure bend her at the Roy Griak either and took 88th (3rd for team) with a 6K time of 22:41. Magley posted an 18:35 last weekend against the Irish.
Junior Erin Womble was one of the Hoosiers' top five runners five times last season as well as being an All-Big Ten candidate. Womble exhibited her endurance capabilities as she ran the mile, the 3K, and the 5K during the 2000 track season. She once again has broken back into the top five for the Hoosiers with her fourth-for-the-team finish in the Indiana Intercollegiates (5K time-19:12.50). Womble held on to this in Minnesota taking fourth for the team at the Roy Griak (91st/6K-22:42). Womble paced with teammate Lauren Weddell and ran an 18:42 in South Bend.
Senior Courtney Bell, a transfer from Missouri, has plans to make the most of her final cross country season. So far, she is doing just that. In the two early meets of the season, Bell has posted personal improvements (Sam Bell 4K-15:32.95/Indiana Intercollegiates 5K-19:26.32). Her fifth-for-the-team finish at the Roy Griak Invitational (6K-23:04) boosted her team's placing. At Notre Dame, Bell ran alongside teammate Giesler to cross the 5K line in 18:50.
'Going for it' Giesler
Freshman Audrey Giesler entered Indiana with a reputation as a middle-distance runner. This Downers Grove prospect was the Illinois Indoor 800m State Champion yet has quickly proven that she is ready to race, no matter the distance. Giesler finished 5th for the team at the Sam Bell Invitational in 15:42.32. In the Indiana Intercollegiates, she ran fifth for the team in 19:14.12. She transitioned well into the 6K range at the Roy Griak in Minnesota, taking sixth for the team with a time that was 5 seconds behind teammate Courtney Bell (23:09). Giesler paced with Bell for an 18:50 5K in South Bend.
Weddell has something-You can tell
Sophomore Lauren Weddell began training with the Indiana distance squad in 1999 as a redshirt and has placed herself along the core of strong athletes with her abilities. Weddell finished just one second behind 5th runner Audrey Giesler in the Sam Bell Invitational recently with a time of 15:43.27. Weddell completed the Intercollegiates 5K in 19:18.54. She clocked her first 6K time of 23:19 in Minnesota at the Roy Griak. At Notre Dame, Weddell posted a 18:42 along with teammate Erin Womble.
The Travelling Twelve
October is a crucial month for the men's team as they must pull together and clock impressive performances to place highly in the Pre-NCAA meet and the Big Ten Championship that follows. If the Notre Dame Invitational last Friday was a gauge of where the men's training is taking them, their showing seems to say to any skeptics that this solid squad won't settle for anything less than Ames in November.
The last time the men ran at Notre Dame was in 1997. Then, they placed eighth out of 22 teams. This season they were fifth out of a much more competitive field that consisted of teams that will trek to the mid-west once again this weekend including Stanford, Arizona, and Duke. The Hoosiers defeated nationally ranked Duke and Eastern Michigan as they trailed then 8th ranked North Carolina State by only ten points.
The last time the men were ranked in the national polls during the season has seen a span in the past few seasons, but the Hoosiers are a young team led by select seniors moving with the dawn of a new decade. Indiana is looking to break back into the national polls and return to their status as one of the top teams in the country.
Coach Chapman will travel the same twelve to 'Pre-nats' as those who set off for South Bend (Gillen, Powers, Phariss, Andrews, Zeha, Chandler, Billish, Ekman, Broo ks, Sweetman, Purcell, and Gooden). The seven to run the "A" and the five to run the "B" will be decided by Friday.
Men's Poll Preview
The men broke back into the national polls as of October 10th for the first time in numerous seasons of rebuilding. Teams highlighted are those to show at Pre-NCAA's Saturday:
|12||William and Mary||Southeast|
|14||Michigan State||Great Lakes|
|17||Notre Dame||Great Lakes|
(Also receiving votes: Nebraska, E. Michigan, Minnesota, Dartmouth, Villanova, Florida, Portland, Penn State, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State)
Senior Aaron Gillen has been a mainstay for the Hoosiers. He has been one of the Hoosiers' top two runners for much of the last two seasons. The leadership he exhibits and his ability to handle pressure situations makes him Indiana's 'go-to-guy.' Gillen was the top finisher for the Hoosiers in the Intercollegiates 8K with a fourth place finish and a time of 25:30.17 as well as in the Roy Griak Meet where he took 14th with a time of 24:49 for 8K. Gillen didn't flinch in the face of the Fighting Irish and ran one of his fastest career times and improved on his season performance by 21 seconds.
Senior Tom Brooks has evolved into one of Indiana's top five runners. He has improved his beginning cross country times by over one minute and, during the 2000 track season, proved himself to be one of the top 3000m steeplechase runners in the Big Ten. His rise in performance will provide consistency for the Hoosiers this year. He recently posted an 8K time of 26:18.67 at the Indiana Intercollegiates and was fifth for the team at the Roy Griak (25:55).
Eek! It's Ekman
Senior Chris Ekman has a range of top times including his 8K time of 25:27.21 and his track records ranging from 1:51.04 in the 800m, 3:50.71 in the 1500m, and 4:12.38 in the mile. Ekman continues to fine-tune his performance while learning from his experienced teammates and looks to be a key supporter of his team as his season progresses.
Fifth-year senior Dan Billish opened the 2000 season with an impressive 7K time of 24:26.72 (5:37 per mile). In the week following, Billish was seventh for his team (8K-26:22.70) when they claimed the Indiana Intercollegiates team title on thier home course. While he did not compete in the Griak meet in Minnesota, his time at Intercollegiates ranks fourth among his career 8K bests. In the pursuit of his individual goals, Billish hopes to assist his teammates in achieving their set team goals of winning a Big Ten title and qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Billish recently returned to his hometown of Chicago to compete in the Sean Earl Loyola Lakefront Invitational where he ran a 26:30 8K (51st out of over 400 athletes), despite being tripped. Billish a strong number seven at Notre Dame with a time of 25:34.
Kevin with the Kick
Junior Kevin Chandler has worked hard for his amazing improvement over the years. In 1999, before being sidelined with a season-ending injury, Chandler was one of Indiana's top five runners in the first two meets. This season, he seems to be making up for it
as he recently finished fifth for his team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a time of 26:06.60. Chandler improved on that time in Minnesota (26:01). At Notre Dame recently, Chandler was a mere five second from being the fifth man for his team (25:24). Chandler will look to break into the top five and continue to put gaps in other teams' scoring.
Power Inside Powers
Powerful performance is the only description for sophomore Chris Powers' 1999 cross country season. After ranking as one of Indiana's top five runners in three of the most important meets of the year (Pre-NCAA, Big Ten Championship, and NCAA Regionals) as a freshman, potential waits to be fulfilled in 2000. At the Sam Bell 7K, Powers ran a 22:45.83. Powers then finished second for the team in Minnesota with a 25:22 for 8K (58th). He looks be a strong factor in important meets once again this month and started off on the right foot at the Notre Dame Invitational where he took second for the team with a 27th place finish (24:47).
Sophomore Chad Andrews played a key role for the Hoosiers as a freshman. In the last four meets of 1999 (Loyola Invite, Pre-NCAA, Big Ten Championship, and NCAA Great Lakes Regional), Andrews was ranked in the top five for the Hoosiers. This season, he may rank in the top three with his recent fifth place finish (second for team) at the Indiana Intercollegiates. He paced with Aaron Gillen to help lead his team to win the meet and finished with a time of 25:30.48. Though sick at the Roy Griak, Andrews is now recovered and eager to compete in the top again. He made his way up at the Notre Dame Invite and took fifth for the team in 25:19 and hopes to keep moving back into the top pack.
Bart On the Charts
As a prep, Bart Phariss entered Indiana as a cross country state champ (junior year) and state record holder in the 3,200 m (9:28). He placed 17th at the World Cross Country Junior team trials and was redshirted as a freshman. Now a sophomore, Phariss has broken into the competitive collegiate field and posted impressive performances. Phariss recently finished third for his team in the Intercollegiates 8K with a time of 25:41.54. He improved at the Roy Griak (25:39) and hopes to continue that trend in the upcoming competitions. Phariss' top career time was turned in last weekend in South Bend (24:52), only five seconds away from fellow teammate Powers.
Sophomore Jeff Zeha is ready to ride after his freshman redshirt season. Zeha placed 34th at the World Cross Country Junior team trials in 1999. In 2000, Zeha won the 3000m steeplechase at Junior Nationals and competed in the USA vs. Canada Dual Meet in the same event. After time off, Zeha has entered the cross country season with abandon and is looking to continue to move up. He recently finished fourth for the team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a time of 25:59.74. Zeha was in the top 100 at Minnesota (fourth for team-25:44). At Notre Dame, Zeha was the fourth man for the Hoosiers (25:14).
Not Just Gooden...Grrreat!
Sophomore Nathan Gooden has proven after a redshirt season that he is no fluke. Gooden finished third among those competing in the Sam Bell Invitational and recently posted an 8K time of 26:12.41 at the Indiana Intercollegiates. Gooden strained a hamstring in the Roy Griak meet and reaggravated the pull in a recent practice. Gooden hopes to recover in time to help his team at Pre-Nationals.
Out of the Gate Nate
Sophomore Nathan Purcell is entering his first year of collegiate competition after redshirting his freshman year. While Purcell was temporarily set back due to a late summer injury, he has steadily progressed and will look to continue that trend so that he may be prepared to support his team in upcoming meets such as Notre Dame and the Pre-NCAA in early October.
At the Sam Bell Invitational 7K, Purcell ran a 5:38 per mile average to finish with a time of 24:30.82. In the Indiana Intercollegiates 8K, Purcell crossed the line in 26:30.20. On the weekend of September 30th, Purcell competed individually at the Indiana State Invite and ran 26:11.0 (29th).
Looking for a Sweet Performance
Former redshirt freshman and sophomore teammate Matt Sweetman will join Purcell at the Indiana State Invitational in Terre Haute.
Sweetman finished third among the Hoosiers competing in the Sam Bell 7K with a time of 23:40.80 (5:26 per mile average). In the Open 8K of the Indiana Intercollegiates, Sweetman crossed the line in 26:22.40. Sweetman also travelled to Indiana State and logged a 27:16.30 for 8K, despite running at his first 80 mile training week.