Weekly Release (10-29
Bloomington, Ind.- The No. 19 Indiana men's cross country team and the IU women's cross country team head to East Lansing, Mich. for the 2003 Big Ten Cross Country Championships Sunday, Nov. 2. The Forest Akers East Golf Course will host the event, featuring the women's 6K race at 10:45 a.m. and the men's 8K at 11:30 a.m.
Last Week: Both Indiana teams were idle last weekend.
What Will IU Do For An Encore?: Both Indiana teams are looking to duplicate the success each squad enjoyed at last year's Big Ten meet in West Lafayette.
Indiana was one of two Big Ten programs to record a top four finish in both the men's and women's races at the 2002 league cross country championships Nov. 2 at the Varsity Cross Country Course in West Lafayette. After finishing ninth in 2001, the Hoosier women's team took third, and the men finished fourth for the second straight year.This is Indiana's best finish in the Big Ten women's race since the 1990 team won the title.
From an individual records perspective, both teams had an historical day. For the first time in school history, three IU women's runners earned all-league laurels in the same season. Junior Audrey Giesler ran a career-best 17:49 over 5K to finish sixth, followed by freshman Jessica Gall (11th, career-best 17:58.9) and junior Becky Obrecht (14th, 18:05).
On the men's side, redshirt freshmen John and Sean Jefferson became the first Hoosier rookies since Olympian Bob Kennedy to earn all-league honors in their inaugural campaign. John Jefferson finished the 8K race fourth with a career-best time of 24:07, while Sean was right behind him as usual, taking sixth with a career-best time of 24:13.
The Standard Is Excellence: When Robert Chapman took over the Indiana program in 1998, the Hoosiers had not finished among the top four in Big Ten cross country since 1987. When the Hoosiers step to the starting line in East Lansing on Sunday, they will be gunning for their fourth straight top four finish. Should this occur, it would mark the first time since 1970-73 that IU has had four consecutive top four finishes at the league meet.
History Lessons: This is the fourth time that Michigan State has hosted the Big Ten men's cross country championship, and IU has never finished lower than fifth when the league meet is held in East Lansing. The Hoosiers were fifth in 1993, won the 1980 championship and finished fifth in 1970.
Past Big Ten Performances: Here is a look at how Indiana has fared in the Big Ten since 1998.
Year M W
1998 10th 9th
1999 5th 5th
2000 2nd 7th
2001 4th 9th
2002 4th 3rd
Pre-NCAA Meet Recap: The No. 25 Indiana men's cross country team finished eighth at the Pre-NCAA 8000m meet Saturday afternoon at Byrnes Park/Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course. The Hoosiers placed three runners among the top 50, led by senior Chris Powers' 18th place effort in 23:56.
Indiana men's coach Robert Chapman feels that his team continues to gradually reach its goals.
"I would give Chris an `A" for today, and the rest of the team around a `B' or `C'," Chapman said. "While we still have work to do, this puts us in decent position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships (Nov. 24 in Waterloo). But we we still have to run better at Big Tens and regionals to secure that bid.
"Chris was among the top 15 throughout the race and just got caught at the end. It was a fine effort by the fifth year senior."
IU finished ahead of four ranked teams - No. 6 Central Michigan, No. 16 Virginia, No. 23 Portland and No. 27 Texas A&M.
Sean Jefferson was the second Indiana runner and 37th overall at 24:17. Eric Redman was five places behind Jefferson in 24:21, and Chad Andrews was 96th in 24:53. Tom Burns (103rd, 24:58) and Stephen Haas (149th, 25:26) round out the Hoosier lineup.
Five Indiana men's runners competed in the open race. Charlie Koeppen finished 11th in 25:13.7, while Marcus Aguilar (23rd, 25:40.5), Matt Sweetman (40th, 26:04.1), Nick Kruse (41st, 26:04.2) and Nathan Purcell (62nd, 26:39.1) also competed.
The Indiana women's team continue to battle injuries and finished 22nd in the 6000m race.
"We're trying to fill some gaps with people who do not have big meet experience, and they're learning the hard way," Wilson said. "Today, we got out well, but between 1 and 2K, things fell apart early.Audrey Giesler (28th, 21:07) ran well and Kelly Siefker (108th, 22:11) was okay."
Giesler and Siefker were the Hoosiers' first and third finishers, respectively. Mindy Peterson was second for the team and 93rd overall (22:01), followed by Siefker. Julie Shields (22:57), Kristin Whitezell (23:02) and Allison Miller (23:03) round out the Hoosier lineup.
Heidi Crowley turned in a personal-best in the women's open 6000m race, taking 37th in 22:48.9.
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.
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