Terre Haute, IN - For the second time in three weeks, No. 17 Indiana turned in an impressive performance on the Vern Gibson Championship Course, which is hosting the Nov. 25 NCAA Championship. The Hoosiers placed fourth in their 35-team field at the Pre-NCAA Meet, as redshirt freshmen John and Sean Jefferson took 16th (24:20) and 18th (24:22), respectively, in the 8,000-meter race.
The frightening thing for IU opponents is that according to head coach Robert Chapman, the Hoosiers are still not running on all cylinders.
I felt that we ran average, but it shows you something, that we can have an average day and still do this well, he said. The key thing was the pace of this race. It was much faster than were accustomed to. But that can only help us.
John and Sean did a great job getting out in the front pack. Eric Redman (57th, 25:01) also hung tough. Bart (Phariss, who finished 64th in 25:07) was probably the one most affected by the pace. He is more of a moderate pace guy.
Tom Burns completed Indianas scoring with an 82nd place finish at 25:16. Nathan Purcell (25:34) and Stephen Haas (25:44) were next for the Hoosiers, and Chapman is pleased with their development as well.
Youre going to see the gap between our fifth runner and guys like Haas and Purcell continue to close, he said. This gives us good momentum towards Big Tens (Nov. 3 at Purdue). Theres a big difference between 8K (the Big Ten Championship distance) and 10K (the NCAA Regional distance), and we need to be ready.