Women's Cross Country

    Helmer and the Hoosiers Ready for the 2007 Cross Country Season

    Go Hoosiers! Junior Wendi Robinson returns as one of IU's top runners for the 2007 season.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior Wendi Robinson returns as one of IU's top runners for the 2007 season.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Aug. 20, 2007

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana women's cross country team has its sights set on a new season with a new leader in head coach Ron Helmer.

    Despite the loss of All-American Jessica Gall and all-region selection Lindsay Hattendorf, Helmer and the Hoosiers will look to the leadership of their top-returning runner in junior Wendi Robinson.

    Robinson was a fixture in the top three of the Hoosier pack in 2006 and will look to take over where Gall and Hattendorf left off. She was a top-five finisher at last season's Indiana Intercollegiates with a personal-best time of 18:11.1. Robinson was also a top-20 finisher at the 2006 Great Lakes Regional Championship with a season-best time of 21:52.34 in the 6K race.

    Robinson, who also led the Hoosiers in the classroom earning United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-Cross Country and Academic All-Big Ten honors, will be joined by seniors Kristin Whitezell and Lauren Keefe. Whitezell returns after redshirting the 2006 season to recover from knee surgery. Keefe did not compete in cross country last season, but was successful for IU during the indoor and outdoor seasons. She posted the Hoosiers second-fastest time in the outdoor 1,500-meters (4:38.21) and third-fastest time in the 800-meters (2:17.21).

    After making the move from sprints to middle distance, junior Caity Lauer will try her hand at cross country. Lauer posted the fastest Hoosier times in the 800-meters during both the indoor and outdoor season, earning a trip to the NCAA Mideast Regional meet.

    Lauer will joined by sophomore Molly Beckwith, who also made the move to middle distance during the 2007 track season. Beckwith, who was a member of the IU's women's soccer team in 2005, clocked the second fastest time (2:14.17) for the Hoosiers in the 800-meters during the outdoor season.

    Also returning to the Hoosier pack are juniors Maura Ratcliff and Kristina Trcka, who competed in every meet for the Hoosiers, and sophomores Rachel Ehret, Jenny Kulow and Sarah Pease.

    Indiana made the addition of three to the 2007 roster with freshmen Natalie Goolik and Rachel Stark. Goolik joins the Hoosiers after boasting a successful career at Highland (Ind.) High School. Goolik placed 38th at the 2007 Indiana state meet with personal-best time of 11:48 and earned all-area honorable mention her senior season. Stark, the 2005 Gatorade Athlete of the Year for cross country and track and field at Columbus (Ind.) North High School, brings personal-best times of 5:04 in the 1,600-meters and 11:12 in the 3,200-meters to Indiana.

    The Hoosiers open the 2007 schedule when they host the Indiana Invitational 5K on the IU Cross Country Championship Course on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Hoosiers will then try for a fifth consecutive Indiana Intercollegiates title as they will battle some of the best teams in the state on Friday, Sept. 14, in West Lafayette. After a week off, IU will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to compete in the 22nd annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29. The Hoosiers haven't competed in the event since 2005.

    Indiana will get back on the course on Saturday, Oct. 13, when it competes in the Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind., site of the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Following the Big Ten Championship, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio, and hosted by the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday, Oct. 28, the Hoosiers will host the Great Lakes Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 10. This year's regional meet marks the first one in Bloomington since 2005 and the second time IU has been the host.

    The Hoosiers will then wrap up the season with the NCAA Championships on the LaVern Gibson Golf Course in Terre Haute, on Monday, Nov. 19.

    Indiana officially gets the season underway with its first practice on Tuesday, Aug. 21.



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