Men's Cross Country

    Big Ten Preview

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    Press Release

    October 24, 2000

    Men and Women Bring High Hopes to Big Tens

    Championship Preview

    The Big Ten Championship will return to Badger territory for the first time since 1989. Based on a conference vote, the women's racing distance will remain at 5K (3.1 miles) for the championships. Both the men's and women's Wisconsin squads will defend their 1999 Big Ten Championship team titles on the Yahara Hills Golf Course on Madison's southeast side. Eleven teams will clash as the women's 5K sparks the flame of competition at 10:45 a.m. A total of ten teams will vie for the men's crown as their 8K race is set to follow at 11:30 a.m.

    Both the Indiana Men's and Women's Cross Country teams will come to the Big Ten Championships in Wisconsin looking for big time success. Last year saw both Hoosier squads make the largest jumps of any team in Big Ten history since the mid-1990's. This season, the men's team will be rolling with the momentum gained from their recent break into the national rankings, their high rank in Great Lakes Regional polls, and two weeks of fine-tuning following a 17th place Pre-NCAA team finish.

    The women's team, however, hopes to come into the Championship with a new look in their eye. After disappointment at both Notre Dame and Pre-NCAA's, the Hoosiers must find a way to transfer peak practice performance into the racing situation. "If we can do that," says head coach Judy Bogenschutz, "this team is really capable of mixing it up at Big Tens."

    Olympian Officials

    Olympians Suzy Favor Hamilton and Pascal Dobert will serve as honorary starters for the 2000 Big Ten Conference Cross Country Championships. Hamilton is a three-time Olympian. She recently advanced to the finals of the 1500 meters at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Dobert also competed at the 2000 Games in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase. In addition, 2000 Olympic marathoner Rod DeHaven will serve on the meet jury.

    Making an Attack in Madison

    In the 1999 Big Ten Championship, the men's squad jumped a phenomenal five places in team finish compared to 1998 (tenth in '98, fifth in '99). To start the new century and mark a return of IU men's cross country to conference and national prowess, the 2000 squad has set high expectations for themselves. Goals laid out in the pre-season included winning a Big Ten team title and qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championships. So far, the Hoosiers aren't far from making their dreams reality.
    Strong 2000 performances have propelled the men into the national rankings and earned them enough ranking points to gain an at-large bid to NCAA's in November. They are ranked fifth in the most recent Great Lakes Regional poll, behind Big Ten rivals Wisconsin and Michigan State. As they chase the leaders, they will be pursued heavily by Ohio State and Michigan. Yet, while they face tough competition, the Hoosiers are strong and healthy and have had three runners (Aaron Gillen, Chris Powers, and Bart Phariss) clock top 25 conference times four times this season.

    The women's squad also made great strides from 1998 to 1999 as they went from a ninth place showing to a fifth place finish in the single season span. The Hoosiers also honored their first All-Big Ten athlete since Nicole Suever in 1993 as then freshman Amanda Bell took sixth place with a 5K time of 17:30. Though the women have been frustrated by recent race performances, Bogenschutz has seven runners clocking times in practice this season that are faster than their number two runner's workout performances recorded last season at this time.

    "I'm not discouraged by our recent performances because I have seen these girls in practice," commented head coach Judy Bogenschutz. "This season has been a learning experience and the team has yet to take what they do in practice and apply it to the big, competitive races. We are going to take time to focus on doing so in Big Tens. Once we apply our abilities and eliminate mental distraction, things are going to click for this team."

    Hurdles to climb at the Championships include nationally as well as high regionally (with Indiana in Great Lakes region) ranked Wisconsin (3rd nationally/1st Great Lakes region), Michigan (12th nationally/2nd Great Lakes region), Minnesota (16th nationally), and Michigan State (6th Great Lakes region). Indiana is ranked ninth in the Great Lakes region, edging out Purdue.

    Racing for Results or Routes

    Complete race results will be made available on the web at www.athletics.indiana.edu. Results will be made available at approximately 12:30 p.m. and will be posted as soon as possible. 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: banash@indiana.edu
    Yahara Hills Golf Course is located southeast of Madison off Interstate 90 and Hwys. 12/18. From Madison: Take Hwys. 12/18 east. Turn right on Millpond Road. Turn left into Yahara Hills Golf Course. Follow signs to parking.

    From Interstate 90: Exit Hwys. 12/18 East. Turn right on Millpond Road. Turn left into Yahara Hills Golf Course. Follow signs to parking.

    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.

    Quote Corner

    Men's Coach Dr. Robert Chapman:
    "The next five weeks are a completely new season for us. I think we are an extremely dangerous team heading into the championship part of the season. We've got our wins for an at-large NCAA bid and we've got our first top-25 ranking in a while, but we still have not had a race where we are firing on all cylinders. That's what makes us dangerous. When we put everything together, we can go out and run to win the Big Ten."

    Women's Coach Judy Bogenschutz: "Interestingly, the Big Ten Championship, one of the most important races of the season, is our smallest with less than 100 competing runners. However, there are five teams ranked in the top thirty in the country in this race. If we can slide in there and beat some teams like Illinois and Northwestern, it changes our entire season. If we have five runners show up and run up to their ability, we will be in the top four."

    Defying History:

    The women showed in 1999 that history does not have to repeat itself as they jumped four places compared to 1998. Nine Hoosiers will reach within themselves for another strong performance in 2000. On the women's side, teams lining up include Last season's results are as follows:

    1. Wisconsin
    2. Michigan
    3. Minnesota
    4. Michigan State
    5. Indiana
    6. Purdue
    7. Northwestern
    8. Penn State
    9. Iowa
    10. Illinois
    11. Ohio State

    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. At Notre Dame, Bell ran a 17:44 and was second for her team at Pre-NCAA's. 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. This 1999 All-Big Ten athlete will look to a be a key to determining her team's championship performance.

    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. So far this season, 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 an 18:05 and at Pre-NCAA's, she was first for the Hoosiers for the first time this season. In the 1999 Big Tens, Hammond took third for the team (29th-18:06.6). 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 against the Irish at the Notre Dame Invite and was again the third finisher for her team at Pre-NCAA's. Magley will look to improve even more on her 1999 Big Ten performance where she took 60th overall in a time of 18:54.64.

    Accelerating Erin
    Junior Erin Womble was one of the Hoosiers' top five runners five times last season. 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 and was fifth for her team at Pre-NCAA's. At the 1999 Big Ten Championship, Womble took 57th (18:52.52).

    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. At Pre-NCAA's, Weddell was fourth for her team and will look to again push the Hoosier pack as she posts her first Big Ten Championship performance.

    Bell Lap
    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 and was seventh for her team at Pre-NCAA's. Bell has improved in nearly every 5K race this year compared to '99. She will look to continue that trend at Big Tens. Her 1999 performance of 18:53.2 placed her 58th in the championship race.

    Breaking Through Bevins
    Sophomore Whitney Bevins competed in four meets for the Hoosiers last season and has since exhibited marked improvement. This year, her hopes to crack Indiana's top five and score for the Hoosiers are within reach as she improved on her 4K time (1999 Indiana Open-16:46.4/2000 Sam Bell Invitational-16:10.47) and recently ran a 5K time of 19:20.90 in Intercollegiates. Bevins turned in her first 6K time of 23:23 at the Roy Griak in Minnesota. At Notre Dame, Bevins neared breaking 19:00 with a time of 19:05. This will be Bevins' first Big Ten appearance, but with her improvement the outlook is positive.

    '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 and was sixth for the team at Pre-NCAA's. Giesler has been strong this year and will boost her team in her first Big Ten showing.

    My, My Heidi
    This is what head coach Judy Bogenschutz was thinking when freshman Heidi Crowley finished so well in the Sam Bell opener. Crowley finished seventh for the team in 15:51.20 and posted a 5K time of 19:26.78 in the Intercollegiates, right behind senior Courtney Bell. At the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, Crowley gained valuable experience at the new 6K distance amongst a large, competitive field where she finished in 23:34. Crowley paced with teammate Whitney Bevins and finished the Notre Dame 5K in 19:07.

    Defying History:

    The men showed in 1999 that history does not have to repeat itself as they jumped five places compared to 1998. Nine of the ten Hoosier athletes listed will reach within themselves for another strong performance in 2000. Last season's results are as follows:

    1. Wisconsin
    2. Michigan
    3. Minnesota
    4. Ohio State
    5. Indiana
    6. Michigan State
    7. Penn State
    8. Illinois
    9. Iowa
    10. Purdue

    'Go-to-Guy' Gillen
    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. He again crossed the line in flying colors at Pre-NCAA's with his fastest career 10K time by over 30 seconds (31:53.5). Gillen was 29th at the '99 Big Ten Championship and this season posted the fifth fastest Big Ten 8K time during the weekend of October 6th and 7th (24:28).

    Thrillish Billish
    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. At Pre-NCAA's, Billish was the fifth finisher for his team with a 10K time of 33:33.5. Last season, Billish took 75th with a 26:58, but has shaved his 8K times in 2000 by over a minute in many cases and will look to give his all in his last cross country season.

    Brooks Books
    Senior Tom Brooks has evolved into one of Indiana's top 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). Brooks has been warding off injury most recently. With the success of that task, Brooks will look duplicate his strong 1999 47th place showing (27:00.80-8K). With Brooks already having beaten that time by an average of 54 seconds at Intercollegiates and the Roy Griak this season, the outlook for a strong 2000 performance is positive.

    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. As a senior with a great deal of work under his belt, Ekman looks to break out at Big Tens.

    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) and at Pre-NCAA's, he was seventh for his team. 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). At Pre-NCAA's, Powers duplicated his number two finish (81st, 32:14.5) and will look to be there again for his team as he was in '99 at Big Tens. In that first season, Powers took 40th as a freshman in the championship and ran a 26:44.2.

    Adrenaline Andrews
    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, then broke back in as the third finisher at Pre-NCAA's (32:18.1). Andrews was a high finisher for the Hoosiers in his first year (34th-26:34.9) and has since knocked a minute off such a time.

    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 and was fourth for the team at Pre-NCAA's with his first 10K time of 32:21.5. Phariss was a redshirt in 1999 and is ready to contribute to Big Ten success in 2000.

    Zeeee-ha!!!
    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) and he was sixth for the team at Pre-NCAA's. His 10K time was 33:46.8. Zeha will look to break back into the top pack at Big Tens and lower his team's score.

    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 important October meets.
    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). Purcell was seventh out of 74 in the Notre Dame JV race and, most recently, 11th out of 118 at the Pre-NCAA B race.

    Mile-to-Mile Team Profiles:
    Illinois: The Fighting Illini
    Head coach Gary Wieneke enters his 34th season at the helm of the Illinois men's cross country program. While the men took eighth as a team in 1999, at Mid-West Regionals they placed fourth, missing NCAA qualification by just one spot. Hungry for redemption, seniors Ryan Eason and Mike Lucchesi lead the Illini in 2000. Most recently, Eason posted a 32:49.0 10K with teammate Lucchesi running a 33:23.6 as their squad took 44th at Pre-NCAA's.

    The women are coached by Gary Winckler and assisted by Michelle Byrne. Last year, Illinois took tenth in the Big Ten Championships, but have since improved as Indiana learned at the Sam Bell opener in the beginning of September. Though the meet was not scored, Indiana women's head coach Judy Bogenschutz commented on their improvement. Most recently, Illinois placed 22nd at Pre-NCAA's, led by sophomore Cecelia Williams who ran the 6K in 22:07.1/50th/47th with sophomore Amber Hunt taking 100th/94th in 22:34.8.

    Iowa Hawkeyes
    Larry Wieczorek is in his 14th season as the University of Iowa men's cross country coach. The men were ninth at Big Tens in 1999 and are led this season by Joe Welter (25:12:.7 8K), Shaun Allen (25:33.1 8K), and Trent Corey (25:38.3 8K), who helped lead their team to a second place finish behind Wisconsin at the Jim Drews Invite on October 14th.

    The Iowa women also took ninth at Big Tens. Yet, head women's coach Sarah Beckord Swails has higher hopes for her squad in 2000. One of the omre recent performances by the Hawkeye women was their 6th place finish at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas on October 14th. Top performances from that meet include those by Sarah Arens (22:04 5K) and Michelle Lahann (22:51 5K).

    Michigan Wolverines
    The men's Wolverine squad will be foaming at the mouth to avenge their bitter defeat by the Badgers at the 1999 Big Ten Championships. Michigan was edged out of the team title by two points (Wisconsin 38, Michigan 40) and had their two year Big Ten reign snapped. Michigan is ranked seventh in the Great Lakes Region and has been ranked nationally this year under the experienced guidance of head coach Ron Warhurst and assistant Kevin Sullivan. Junior Mark Pilja has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week twice this fall and he ranks in the top five of the Big Ten Men's Top Times list with a 23:43 5.0 mile race and an 8K time of 23:52. John Hughes, Tom Greenless, and Dave Sage should also be watched for.

    Mike McGuire leads the Wolverine women into battle in 2000. They also took second place to Wisconsin, though by a larger margin, at Big Tens in 1999. Katie Clifford Jazwinski has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week once this fall and has posted a 5K that falls in the top five on the Women's Top Times list (17:24). Not far from her is teammate Katy Radkewich (17:29). Michigan is currently ranked second in the Great Lakes Region and twelfth in the nation.

    Michigan State Spartans
    Jim Stintzi is entering his 17th year as head coach for the Spartan squad. MSU finished sixth in the '99 Championships, but in 2000, they stand as the second-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region behind Wisconsin. Jason Mueller, Ben Evans, and Steve Padgett have turned in impressive times as they lead their teams. Mueller has posted a 24:36 8K, Padgett has completed the same distance in 24:29, and Evans in 24:27. Teammates Jared Aldrich and Andy Marsh are not far behind. Together, the five make for a tight pack to split as they enter the 2000 Championships.

    The women are also coached by Jim Stintzi, though only for the first time in this 2000 season. The Women's Great Lakes Regional Poll places the Spartans in sixth and they placed well (fourth) as a team in the '99 Big Ten Championship. Junior Ann Somerville was recently named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week (10/10) as she ran a 21:14 6K at the Paul Short Invite in Pennsylvania. She has also posted a 17:20 5K this season and teammate Jamie Krzyminski is also in the top for her team with a 17:39 at the same distance.

    Minnesota Gophers
    The Golden Gopher men of Minnesota are coached by Steve Plasencia and will enter Big Ten battle after tough competition at Pre-NCAA's, in which they took 25th as a team. Top finishers and times for the 10K race include Joe Corr (46th-31:54.2), Will McComb (81st-32:16.1), and Luke Mullranin (159th-32:50.3). The men took third in the '99 Big Ten Championship.

    The women's team is coached by Gary Wilson and is, thus far, experiencing a successful 2000 season. Currently, the Gopher women rank 16th in the nation and come off of a 12th place finish in Pre-NCAA competition. The women faired the same as the men (third) in 1999 Big Tens and with the leadership of Elaine Eggleston (29th at Pre-NCAA's, 6K-21:53.0) and Darja Vasiljeva (59th at Pre-NCAA's, 6K-22:16.0), they look to be top contenders again this season.

    Northwestern Wildcats
    The Northwestern Wildcat women are coached by April Ecke and assisted by Ashley Sandberg. The women were seventh in 1999 at Big Tens. Yet, they come off of a reputable performance at Pre-NCAA's this season as they took 28th overall. Top 6K times turned in include: Rachel Evjen in 22:28.8, Laura Evans in 22:29.9, and Emily Blakeslee in 22:37.9.

    Ohio State Buckeyes
    The Buckeye men are coached by Robert Gary and assisted by Matt Sparks. Currently, they rank sixth in the Great Lakes Region and look to better their 1999 fourth place Big Ten finish. They recently took an 18th place finish behind the Indiana Hoosiers at Pre-NCAA's and, thus, received mention in the October 17th national poll. They will chase Indiana once more on the 29th, led by Ian Connor, who has been named a Big Ten Athlete of the Week this season and has posted a 24:58 for 5K. Connor completed the Pre-NCAA 10K in 31:18 with J.J. O'Rielly at 32:04 and Tim Miller at 32:42.

    The Buckeye women can go nowhere but up after a disappointing eleventh place in the 1999 Big Tens. Also coached by Robert Gary and assisted by Sparks, the women did not run in Pre-NCAA's and instead took to the courses of their home-state of Ohio at the All-Ohio Championships. Top times turned in include Mandy Osmond (5K-19:45), Jennifer Ordway (19:46), and Brooke Patterson (5K-20:03).

    Penn State: The Nittany Lions
    Since 1968, Harry Groves has headed the Penn State men's cross country squad. The Lions stand at 18th in the nation after an 11th place finish at Pre-NCAA's 10K. Top times recorded there include James Carney (31:58.1), Chris McGinness (31:58.4), and Steve Walsh (32:09.8). These three followed by Bradd DelMuto and Josh Brashears form a tough clan for the Lions and they will be on the prowl in 2000 after a seventh place Big Ten showing a year ago.

    The women are coached by Beth Alford-Sullivan. She looks to lead the Lions in their hunt for a higher 2000 Big Ten placing compared to 1999's eighth. The Lions took 44th at the Pre-NCAA meet, yet had a top-finisher in Susanne Heyer, a senior, who completed the 6K in 22:31.2.

    Purdue Boilermakers
    The Boilermaker men are coached by Mike Poehlein and assisted by Scott Chamberlain. Purdue star Donnie Fellows has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week twice this fall and will look to lead his team to improve on the tenth place 1999 Big Ten finish. Top times by Fellows this season include (8K-24:51 as well as a 25:04).

    The women's team is headed by Ben Paolillo. The Boilermakers have lost some of their top runners this season due to injuries (Teresa Kamleiter, Jessie Wilder, and Heather Hartshorne) and, without them, took 40th at Pre-NCAA's. Purdue was sixth in 1999 at Big Tens. At the 6K in Iowa, Ann Stechschulte took 57th (22:12.2) and Barbara Wenger 187th (23:30.6).

    Wisconsin Badgers
    Head Coach Jerry Schumacher expects the best from his defending Big Ten champions this season. In the Big Ten and the Great Lakes Region, he is getting it from his squad. The Badgers stand as defending Big Ten Champs and hold the top region ranking. In the nation, they aren't faring poorly either (sixth). The Badgers are led by Jared Cordes (7th at Big Tens in 1999), Nate Uselding (Big Ten Athlete of the Week, October 17th-8K-25:00), and Adam Wallace.

    Peter Tegen coaches the women's squad, who are the defending Big Ten Champions, are ranked number one in the Great Lakes Region, and third in the nation. Aside from this, they provide the training facilities for 1999 NCAA Individual Champion Erica Palmer. Most recently at Pre-NCAA's, Palmer took second with a 6K time of 20:56.7, which earned her Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors. Top teammate times in the race were Bethany Brewster at 21:41.5 (18th) and Liz Reusser at 21:48.7 (27th).







     

     

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