August 30, 2002
Bloomington, Ind. - The Indiana men's and women's cross country teams each turned in impressive showings at the Indiana Open at the IU Cross Country Course. The Hoosier women's team took four of the top five places in a 5K event that featured 2001 NCAA Championship-qualifying South Florida. The men's team placed seven of the top 10 runners in the 7K race.
After two weeks of solid training, both men's coach Dr. Robert Chapman and women's coach Judy Wilson are pleased with their respective team's progress.
"Our approach to this meet was to give the top guys some time, but you don't want any injuries, and you don't want to disrupt your preparation for the regular season," Chapman said. "It was a good workout for us."
Wilson is especially pleased her team's development relative to last year's Indiana Open.
"(Junior) Audrey Giesler was second for us today at 18:15, which is one minute faster than her time at last year's race," Wilson said. "And (freshman) Kelly Siefker was basically running her first cross country meet today. She ran track in high school but played soccer in the fall. For her first time out, she ran a nice race."
Sophomore Mindy Peterson ran the second-best 5K time of her career (18:12.20) to finish first overall. Giesler was second at 18:15, followed by freshmen Jessica Gall (18:27.80) and Lindsay Hattendorf (18:36). Becky Obrecht rounded out IU's top five with a seventh place finish at 18:46.40.
Wilson also cited Hattendorf and Gall for their impressive debuts.
"This race is probably hardest on them, because in the span of two weeks, they are adjusting to college running and being away from home for the first time," Wilson said. "And most importantly, they start classes next week. I told our team to run controlled and stay composed. They ran a good race."
Redshirt freshman John Jefferson, who was an All-American in the indoor mile last winter, led Indiana's men with a second place overall finish at 22:29.10. Senior Bart Phariss was third at 22:29.30, and Sean Jefferson (22:38.30), Tom Burns (22:47.20), Eric Redman (22:50.80), Stephen Haas (23:04.20) and Rob DeWitte (23:06.80) took spots 5-9.
Haas is one of the many young runners for which Chapman has high expectations. The redshirt freshman from Huntersville, N.c. is keeping things in perspective.
"I got off to a late start with summer training, so I'm slow to come around," Haas said. "This time of year, when you log so many miles, you'll have your shares of ups and downs. We'll be ready."