Hoosiers Off and Running (8/18/04)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-- With the summer days behind them, the Indiana women's cross country team reported to camp this week to start their preseason training.
After roughly a nine-mile run on Wednesday, the team hit the weight room to begin their strength and conditioning routine. The squad ran five of the nine miles on the IU Cross Country Course in order to get everyone, including three new freshmen oriented with it.
Head Coach Judy Wilson is excited to start a new season and already has a good feeling after just two days of practice.
"The first two days have gone really smooth," said Wilson. "Jessica (Gall) is in really good shape. Mindy (Peterson), Kelly (Siefker) and Kristin (Whitezell) all trained really hard this summer and it is has showed in the past few days."
Wilson, who led the Hoosiers to a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Championships last season, said the approach this year will be to focus on the individual training.
"We are going to work on gradually brining people along," she said.
Plagued by injuries last season, Larra Overton and Lindsay Hattendorf are two runners that Wilson says are getting stronger each day and beginning to get back into the swing of things. Wilson also pointed to senior Julie Shields as one of the key returnees to the squad.
"Julie is miles ahead of where she was at this point last year," said Wilson.
Freshman Nikki Peterson, a native of Riverton, Wyo., was very eager to get her Hoosier career started.
"I am very happy that I made the decision to come here," said Peterson, "So far, I definitely like it a lot. I have only been here a week, but I can feel the team chemistry. It is a great feeling to be a part of this team."
When asked about the workout routines, Peterson said today's was very tough.
"It was probably the hardest workout I have had in a few years," she said. "It will be an adjustment going from high school to college, but I am ready for the challenge. My personal goal is to help the team in any way I can. "
Gall, who redshirted last season, was more than enthused to get the season started.
"It is so exciting to be back. We had our compliance meeting and team dinner last night, it was just so great to have everyone here," said Gall. "It gave me the chills."
The Cream and Crimson get their season started with a home meet on Friday, September 3. The Indiana Open is slated to begin at 5:45 at the IU Cross Country Course.
Check back soon