Hoosier Cross Country Schedule Features Four Home Meets
July 28, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The 2006 Indiana cross country schedule features four home meets, including the Big Ten Championships, along with five tough meets away from Bloomington.
Both teams open the season with the Indiana Community 5K on Friday, Sept. 1 on the IU Cross Country Course. The meet, which is open to the public, featured more than 90 runners in 2005.
"We start the season by opening up our course to the running community," IU head women's coach Judy Wilson said. "Last year was a great experience for local runners, the team and alumni to run a course that has hosted the NCAA meet five times. It's one of the most, if not the most, challenging courses in the country."
The two squads will then host the Indiana Open on Saturday, Sept. 9 on the IU course, before traveling to Terre Haute, Ind. for the Indiana Intercollegiate Friday, Sept. 15.
"The Indiana Intercollegiate has all Indiana schools and basically offers bragging rights to the team that wins," Wilson said. "The timing of the meet is not the greatest, as many times in the past we have lost to teams that we have come back and beaten later in the season."
The women's squad wraps up September with the Murray Keating Invitational in Orono, Maine, on Saturday, Sept. 30, while the men's team will travel to Fairfax, Va., to compete in the George Mason Invitational.
"The Murray Keating meet is a very nice meet, with a great course and is named after a man who was a long time supporter of track and field and cross country," Wilson said. "We went to this meet in 1999 and I felt it would be a great experience for the team to run against teams they don't usually see."
Both Hoosier teams open the month of October at the Pre-NCAAs, held in Terre Haute, on Saturday, Oct. 14, before hosting the Indiana 4K Championships on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Oct. 29. This season marks the fifth time IU has hosted the men's championships (1969, 1978, 1987, 1996), and the third time for the women's championships (1987, 1996).
Indiana's final two competitions of the season come in November with the Great Lakes Regional on Saturday, Nov. 11, in Bowling Green, Ohio, and the NCAA Championships on Monday, Nov. 20, in Terre Haute.
"We have usually run our best at the end of the season and try to focus our training to run well from the end of October on," Wilson said. "Obviously, the highlight of the season will be hosting the Big Ten meet on our course. We hope to capitalize on that and then move onto the Regional meet, with the focus on being at the NCAAs ready to run the best race of the season."
"We are going to be an extremely young team this year," IU men's head coach Robert Chapman said. "In terms of eligibility, we have one senior. Our focus will be on developing the younger athletes on the team and trying to get them up to the national level. Our goal is always going to make the NCAA Championships and this year, it will be a good challenge, but this group has a lot of talent. This season, the training will have to progress just right for us to have a chance to make nationals."
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