Women's Cross Country to Host Indiana Invitational This Weekend
Sept. 6, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Hoosiers opens the 2007 cross country season with the Indiana Invitiational on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the IU Cross Country Championship Course. The women's 5K race is slated for 9 a.m. ET and will put the Hoosiers up against Ball State, IUPUI and Michigan.
LAST TIME OUT
Gall placed 84th in the 6K with a time of 21:58.0. She ended her cross country career as a two-time All-American, picking up the honor in her sophomore and junior seasons.
Hattendorf placed 104th overall with a time of 22:10.6. She ended her cross country career as a two-time All-Great Lakes regional selection and will be back in action for IU for both the 2007 indoor and outdoor seasons.
Gall and Hattendorf were the first two women in IU cross country history to qualify for nationals in each of their respective years of competition.
Ron Helmer NAMED IU DIRECTOR AND HEAD CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK AND FIELD COACH
Helmer was promoted to director in July 1999 after serving as associate head coach with the Hoyas for seven seasons and assistant coach for the five years prior. During his tenure, 120 of his student-athletes earned a total of 342 All-American recognitions, including 41 student-athletes receiving 96 certificates since becoming director in 1999. In addition, 219 student-athletes captured BIG EAST individual titles, including 67 since the start of the 1999-00 academic year.
Despite the loss of All-American Jessica Gall and all-region selection Lindsay Hattendorf, Helmer and the Hoosiers will look to the leadership of three seniors in Lauren Keefe, Maura Ratcliff and Kristin Whitezell.
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). Ratcliff competed in every meet for the Hoosiers in 2006, returing with the most experience of the group. She was a top-eight finisher for IU in five meets during the season and posted a season-best 6K time of 22:46 at the Pre-Nationals Blue Race on Oct. 14. Whitezell returns after redshirting the 2006 season to recover from knee surgery.
Indiana also returns junior Wendi Robinson, who was a fixture in the top three of the Hoosier pack in 2006. She will redshirt the 2007 season. Robinson was a top-five finisher at last season's Indiana Intercollegiates with a personal-best time of 18:11.1. She 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.
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.
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.
HOOSIERS AHEAD OF THE CLASS
The Hoosiers boast a 3.690 team grade point average (GPA). IU received additional honors, as former standouts Jessica Gall and Lindsay Hattendorf and junior Wendi Robinson earned 2006 NCAA Division I All-Academic Women's Cross Country individual honors.
Gall, Hattendorf and Robinson were also honored by the league, earning spots on this year's Big Ten Academic All-Conference team. The trio was joined by junior Kristina Trcka, and seniors Lauren Keefe and Kristin Whitezell on that list.
Indiana was one of 145 teams that received the team honor on the women's side from the USTFCCCA for this past season, while 76 individuals earned All-Academic honors for the 2006 cross country season.
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