September 9, 2002
Bloomington, IN - Indiana cross country coach Judy Wilson was quite pleased with her team's performance in the Aug. 30 Indiana Open. Not only did the Hoosiers take five of the top seven spots in the meet to win the team title, well ahead of second place and 2001 NCAA Championship qualifying team South Florida, but the Hoosiers' top five runners each bettered their time by a minimum of 23 seconds from the same meet a year ago.
Furthermore, if you applied these top five performances to the 2001 Big Ten Championship 5K, IU would have finished among the top three in the league. While the Hoosiers got 2002 off on the right foot, the key is to maintain this focus throughout the fall.
Four of Indiana's younger runners will participate in Saturday's Purdue Open, which provides both collegiate meet experience along with another opportunity to run on the 2002 Big Ten Championship and NCAA Great Lakes Regional cross country course.
"We're fortunate to have both this year's regional and NCAA courses so close by that we can train on them prior to the season," Wilson said. "This time of year is so important. You want to set the right tone, especially for the freshmen, who are adapting to life away from home for the first time."
Combine the proximity of the championship courses with Indiana's rigorous regular season schedule, and you can understand why expectations are high in Bloomington. After Intercollegiates, IU heads to Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the No. 17 Golden Gophers, before heading to No. 10 Notre Dame for the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 5. Two weeks later is the pre-national meet in Terre Haute, and then the Big Ten Championships on Nov. 3. In addition to Minnesota, Michigan State is No. 12, and Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan are each receiving votes.