Women Look to Beat Ranked Teams at Notre Dame
October 3, 2000
Fighting the Irish...and Anyone Else in the Way
The 2000 Notre Dame Invitational is one of the best regular-season meets in the nation this year with six of the top 25 teams in the country participating. Along with Indiana and Notre Dame, challengers Arizona, Duke, Michigan, North Carolina State, Ohio State and Stanford are just a few of the powerful teams that will race on the Notre Dame campus for the invitational title. The event is free and open to the public.
No Haunting the Hoosiers This Season
The Hoosiers return to the Notre Dame Invitational for the first time since 1997. That season, the men placed eighth out of 22 teams, while the women finished 14th in a 20-team field.
While October and the Halloween holiday bring spirits in their wake, both the men's and women's Indiana cross country squads are determined not to be haunted, proving to have buried the past through their most recent performances. The men's team swept the 2000 Intercollegiates team title in mid-September, jumped four spots to fifth in Great Lakes Regional ranking as of October 2nd, and senior Aaron Gillen finished 14th with an 8K time of 24:49 at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota. The women's team has gelled nicely, taking 13th as a team in the Roy Griak meet behind Missouri (21st in National polls at the time) and coach Judy Bogenschutz is convinced that the best is yet to come.
Rather than submit to being haunted, the Hoosiers are looking to awaken ghostly memories in the minds of their opponents, whom Indiana dominated in the early 1990's on both the men's and women's side. "This is potentially the best women's team since 1991," said women's coach Judy Bogenschutz. Senior Chris Ekman added on the talent the Indiana men's team holds and the commitments they have made in proving their ability, "To not have a great 2000 season would be a true shame. It would do no justice to the sacrifice and dedication that each team member has given throughout the summer and in our present training."
October is a crucial month for the cross country squads as it provides the opportunities of facing higher ranked teams in the conference, region, and nation. Showcased in the important series is the Pre-NCAA meet and the Big Ten Championship, all kicked off by the Notre Dame Invitational.
Racing for Results
Complete race results will be made available on the web at www.athletics.indiana.edu following the event. Results can be printed out by choosing the Men's and/or Women's Cross Country link(s) from the main menu. For more information contact Brooke Nash at (812) 855-9399 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of the Hoosiers
Dr. Robert Chapman begins his third season as Head Men's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. Last season, under Chapman's guidance, the Hoosiers jumped five spots in the Big Ten standings. One has to go back to 1993 to see the last time a team made such an improvement from one season to the next at the Big Ten Cross Country Championship. With his first recruiting class being one of the nation's best and the most recent containing the same grade of talent, Chapman is looking towards even greater success in 2000.
Judy Bogenschutz also begins her third season as Head Women's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. In the fall of 1999, Bogenschutz led the squad to it's making the largest single improvement by any team at the Big Ten Cross Country Championship since 1994. A handful of her distance runners were factors in the Indiana Women's Track and Field team's undefeated 2000 seasons and Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Championship team titles. Bogenschutz looks for that success to carry over into the fall.
Men's Coach Dr. Robert Chapman: "Our men are fit, healthy, and training great. Physically, we are ready. We have proven that in practice on several occasions. We are now at the point where we need to go out, put our nose in every competition, and fight, scratch, and gut our way through to see just how good we really are. The Notre Dame Invitational this week and the Pre-NCAA's next week are perfect opportunities for that."
Women's Coach Judy Bogenschutz: "This meet is at a pivotal point in the season for us in terms of showing that we are truly one of the top thirty best teams in the country. It will take each person racing up to their potential to prove that. If we can do this, we should finish among the top five to seven teams. Our training the past three weeks has proven to me that this group can put Indiana back into the national spotlight. Everyone on this squad is excited about that."
Women's Poll Preview
Teams highlighted are those to appear at Notre Dame Friday:
Finish Lynx Division I Women's Poll
And Now, Your Indiana Hoosiers
At the Roy Griak Invitational on September 23rd, the women turned in their first 6K times of the season and took 13th amongst a field of 29 teams, beating out Purdue and Nebraska, both of whom had received votes in the national polls of that week. They have been utilizing the past two weeks of training to improve individually in order to close gaps, making their pack even more dominant for crucial meets this month, beginning with the Notre Dame Invite. By not competing September 30th weekend, the women were able to log two weeks of solid training and hope to recover well after racing the relatively flat Burke Memorial course before heading into Pre-NCAA's. Amanda Bell, Allyson Hammond, Stephanie Magley, Erin Womble, Lauren Weddell, Whitney Bevins, Courtney Bell, Audrey Giesler, and Heidi Crowley will be the nine to knock off competitors in the varsity race while Megan Glover, Becky Obrecht, Kelli Lipps, and Giavonni Nickson gain experience in the Open.
Big Time Bell
Sophomore Amanda Bell's performance in the Indiana Intercollegiates in September earned her Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors. Her time of 17:45.71 left the nearest competitor 22 seconds behind her. Yet, Bell was far from satisfied and took 21st out of a field of 252 at the third largest meet in the nation, the Roy Griak Invitational. Her first 6K time registered at 21:46. Bell is looking to make it big time, her first hope being for her team to make their long-awaited NCAA berth.
"This past week was a very hard week for all of us. We did really well with it, though. All the girls either set PR's or had great workouts so that geared us towards this week where we can back off a little bit and go out and run a really fast 5K course. We're expecting tough competition and as a team, we're really going to be challenged but, we are ready for it. Last week was evidence that we're all in shape and ready to go." -Amanda Bell
Hammond Heats Up
Sophomore Allyson Hammond hasn't cooled off after qualifying for Junior Nationals in the summer of 2000 and competing in the 1500m against national caliber runners. She posted a fifth place time of 4:39. Bogenschutz is looking for Hammond to repeat her 1999 pattern of consistent improvement every meet. Hammond finished second for her team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a 5K time of 18:21.46 and ran within seven seconds of teammate Amanda Bell at the Roy Griak Invite. Hammond took 28th with a 6K time of 21:53.
"We're all really excited about this weekend. Our confidence has really been boosted as last week there wasn't anyone who didn't have good workouts, despite it being tough. This weekend is our first shot at getting bids to go to Nationals. It is an important meet for us and one that we have been looking forward to." -Allyson Hammond
Moving Up Magley
The 1999 cross country season saw junior Stephanie Magley post her top two collegiate career times. She is one of the most experienced Hoosiers and her transition from a runner to a racer has already begun to shine this season. In both the 2000 Sam Bell Invitational and the Indiana Intercollegiates, Magley finished third for the team with impressive times of 15:31.77 for 4K and 18:56.12 for 5K. Magley didn't let pressure bend her at the Roy Griak either and took 88th (3rd for team) with a 6K time of 22:41.
Junior Erin Womble was one of the Hoosiers' top five runners five times last season as well as being an All-Big Ten candidate. Womble exhibited her endurance capabilities as she ran the mile, the 3K, and the 5K during the 2000 track season. She once again has broken back into the top five for the Hoosiers with her fourth-for-the-team finish in the Indiana Intercollegiates (5K time-19:12.50). Womble held on to this in Minnesota taking fourth for the team at the Roy Griak (91st/6K-22:42).
Senior Courtney Bell, a transfer from Missouri, has plans to make the most of her final cross country season. So far, she is doing just that. In the two early meets of the season, Bell has posted personal improvements (Sam Bell 4K-15:32.95/Indiana Intercollegiates 5K-19:26.32). Her fifth-for-the-team finish at the Roy Griak Invitational (6K-23:04) boosted her team's placing.
"Training wise, coach told us this week that she has nine of us where Allyson [Hammond] was last season at this time. The team has stepped up a lot and I think that we're all working together. We seem like much more of a team. It is all one group when we train and we go into races that way. Hopefully, this meet, we will pull our team even closer together. There are very good teams coming and, yet, there is no apprehension about facing them. I think that is a testament to our raised level of confidence, which comes from performance. This month is a chance to get some real looks into the potential that our group has." -Courtney Bell
`Going for it' Giesler
Freshman Audrey Giesler entered Indiana with a reputation as a middle-distance runner. This Downers Grove prospect was the Illinois Indoor 800m State Champion yet has quickly proven that she is ready to race, no matter the distance. Giesler finished 5th for the team at the Sam Bell Invitational in 15:42.32. In the Indiana Intercollegiates, she ran fifth for the team in 19:14.12. She transitioned well into the 6K range at the Roy Griak in Minnesota, taking sixth for the team with a time that was 5 seconds behind teammate Courtney Bell (23:09).
"Individually, I'm looking for my time to go down quite a bit on such a flat course. As a team, I just hope that we can all pull closer as a pack and beat the ranked teams. That is the ultimate goal heading into this month."
Weddell has something-You can tell
Sophomore Lauren Weddell began training with the Indiana distance squad in 1999 as a redshirt and has placed herself along the core of strong athletes with her abilities. Weddell finished just one second behind 5th runner Audrey Giesler in the Sam Bell Invitational recently with a time of 15:43.27. Weddell completed the Intercollegiates 5K in 19:18.54. She clocked her first 6K time of 23:19 in Minnesota at the Roy Griak.
"Since the course is really fast, hopefully, everyone will PR and close the gaps between our supporting runners. That is what we are focusing on as a team. Individually, I haven't been happy with any of my races so far because I am capable of doing much better. This Friday, I want to sustain my positive mental approach throughout the entire race and reap the benefits of doing so." -Lauren Weddell
Breaking Through Bevins
Sophomore Whitney Bevins competed in four meets for the Hoosiers last season and has since exhibited marked improvement. This year, her hopes to crack Indiana's top five and score for the Hoosiers are within reach as she improved on her 4K time (1999 Indiana Open-16:46.4/2000 Sam Bell Invitational-16:10.47) and recently ran a 5K time of 19:20.90 in Intercollegiates. Bevins turned in her first 6K time of 23:23 at the Roy Griak in Minnesota.
My, My Heidi
This is what head coach Judy Bogenschutz was thinking when freshman Heidi Crowley finished so well in the Sam Bell opener. Crowley finished seventh for the team in 15:51.20 and posted a 5K time of 19:26.78 in the Intercollegiates, right behind senior Courtney Bell. At the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, Crowley gained valuable experience at the new 6K distance amongst a large, competitive field where she finished in 23:34.
"I'm looking to push myself really hard in the race; it is a very fast course and should be a very fast race. It took me a long time to adjust to the higher level of training and I can tell that I am racing much better and have gotten stronger. Yet, I feel I still have much more to accomplish in order to get to where I want to be. I just want to use this race to do that."
Sophomore (redshirt freshman) Megan Glover and freshmen Becky Obrecht, Kelli Lipps, and Giavonni Nickson will run in the Open at Notre Dame Friday:
"I feel like I have started to adapt to the college-level training and I can feel myself getting stronger. Hopefully, on this fast course, I can clock my best performance." -Becky Obrecht
"Since this is my first 5K competition, I'm not exactly sure what to expect but I want to do the best that I can do. So far, training has been going great, I'm getting stronger, and I'm enjoying it more and more. As a shorter distance runner moving into the longer distances, I will be using the flatness of the course to my advantage."
The Men: Lucky Seven to Run Varsity
The men took 17th in a field of 31 at the Griak, beating out Butler who was listed among vote receivers in national rankings that week. Yet, the Hoosiers expected more out of themselves. With sophomore Chad Andrews battling sickness and Ekman and Purcell coming off of injury, the men used the time in the past weeks to regain health, continue to train, and prepare for the Notre Dame Invitational and Pre-NCAA Invitational held in the beginning of October.
The Pre-NCAA meet is the team's main focus and they will be training through the Irish Invite this Friday. Coach Chapman knew that his team gave up an opportunity to beat the teams that needed to be beat the Griak meet. Yet, with everyone now healthy and after nearly two weeks of solid training, he is confident that his athletes will pull together in October and exhibit what they are capable of as a group. And, heads are beginning to turn as Indiana sits in fifth behind fourth place Notre Dame (compared to their pre-season ninth) in recent Great Lakes Regional ranking. This taken into account will set up a heated rivalry between the two Indiana teams.
Athletes competing in the Notre Dame Invitational includeAaron Gillen, Chris Ekman, Tom Brooks, Dan Billish, Kevin Chandler, Bart Phariss, Chris Powers, Chad Andrews, Nathan Gooden, Matt Sweetman, Nathan Purcell, and Jeff Zeha. By the rules of the meet, a max of seven will run in the varsity race while the remaining five will race in the Open. Coach Chapman will decide on Wednesday how to partition his team.
Men's Poll Preview
Teams highlighted are those to show at Notre Dame Friday:
MONDO Men's Cross Country Rankings
Senior Aaron Gillen has been a mainstay for the Hoosiers. He has been one of the Hoosiers' top two runners for much of the last two seasons. The leadership he exhibits and his ability to handle pressure situations makes him Indiana's `go-to-guy.' Gillen was the top finisher for the Hoosiers in the Intercollegiates 8K with a fourth place finish and a time of 25:30.17 as well as in the Roy Griak Meet where he took 14th with a time of 24:49 for 8K.
"While we are focused more on Pre-NCAA's, we are definitely going to take advantage of the fact that we will be facing teams that are ranked higher than us. Our strategy will be different on this flat course. We are going to be going out faster and it should be an exciting race. It will be interesting to experiment in that way because, depending on the outcome, we can decide what will be best for us at Pre-NCAA's or Big Tens. Though the Griak was a bit of a disappointment, Coach Chapman pointed out that if each guy would have run 10-15 seconds faster, we would have passed four or five teams overall. Hopefully this week, we can achieve that and more." -Aaron Gillen
Senior Tom Brooks has evolved into one of Indiana's top five runners. He has improved his beginning cross country times by over one minute and, during the 2000 track season, proved himself to be one of the top 3000m steeplechase runners in the Big Ten. His rise in performance will provide consistency for the Hoosiers this year. He recently posted an 8K time of 26:18.67 at the Indiana Intercollegiates and was fifth for the team at the Roy Griak (25:55).
Eek! It's Ekman
Senior Chris Ekman has a range of top times including his 8K time of 25:27.21 and his track records ranging from 1:51.04 in the 800m, 3:50.71 in the 1500m, and 4:12.38 in the mile. Ekman continues to fine-tune his performance while learning from his experienced teammates and looks to be a key supporter of his team as his season progresses.
"As a shorter distance runner, I am still transitioning into the longer distances and adjusting my body to the higher lactic acid tolerance. We have done some workouts this season that have touched on that and I am expecting to see the benefits of that training within the next week or so. Hopefully this Friday will be a stepping stair along the path that Coach Chapman and I have expected for my season and training."
Fifth-year senior Dan Billish opened the 2000 season with an impressive 7K time of 24:26.72 (5:37 per mile). In the week following, Billish was seventh for his team (8K-26:22.70) when they claimed the Indiana Intercollegiates team title on thier home course. While he did not compete in the Griak meet in Minnesota, his time at Intercollegiates ranks fourth among his career 8K bests. In the pursuit of his individual goals, Billish hopes to assist his teammates in achieving their set team goals of winning a Big Ten title and qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Billish recently returned to his hometown of Chicago to compete in the Sean Earl Loyola Lakefront Invitational where he ran a 26:30 8K (51st out of over 400 athletes), despite being tripped.
"For the first time this year, we will put together our entire A team with everyone healthy and running fast. This will be a culmination of our experiences this season and it marks from this point forward our racing together as a unit. It's do or die now. It's going to be awesome having everybody together." -Dan Billish
Sophomore Chad Andrews played a key role for the Hoosiers as a freshman. In the last four meets of 1999 (Loyola Invite, Pre-NCAA, Big Ten Championship, and NCAA Great Lakes Regional), Andrews was ranked in the top five for the Hoosiers. This season, he may rank in the top three with his recent fifth place finish (second for team) at the Indiana Intercollegiates. He paced with Aaron Gillen to help lead his team to win the meet and finished with a time of 25:30.48. Though sick at the Roy Griak, Andrews is now recovered and eager to compete in the top again.
"Going into the meet, we are still intense in our training as we look towards Pre-NCAA's. Our goal as a team is just to go out there and beat those ranked teams. Individually, I was sick in Minnesota but have since recovered a bit and am feeling better. I'm hoping to perform my best and we'll just see how it turns out." -Chad Andrews
Kevin with the Kick
Junior Kevin Chandler has worked hard for his amazing improvement over the years. In 1999, before being sidelined with a season-ending injury, Chandler was one of Indiana's top five runners in the first two meets. This season, he seems to be making up for it
as he recently finished fifth for his team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a time of 26:06.60. Chandler improved on that time in Minnesota (26:01).
Power Inside Powers
Powerful performance is the only description for sophomore Chris Powers' 1999 cross country season. After ranking as one of Indiana's top five runners in three of the most important meets of the year (Pre-NCAA, Big Ten Championship, and NCAA Regionals) as a freshman, potential waits to be fulfilled in 2000. At the Sam Bell 7K, Powers ran a 22:45.83. Powers then finished second for the team in Minnesota with a 25:22 for 8K (58th). He looks be a strong factor in important meets once again this month.
Bart On the Charts
As a prep, Bart Phariss entered Indiana as a cross country state champ (junior year) and state record holder in the 3,200 m (9:28). He placed 17th at the World Cross Country Junior team trials and was redshirted as a freshman. Now a sophomore, Phariss has broken into the competitive collegiate field and posted impressive performances. Phariss recently finished third for his team in the Intercollegiates 8K with a time of 25:41.54. He improved at the Roy Griak (25:39) and hopes to continue that trend in the upcoming competitions.
"For this weekend, I would really like to beat Notre Dame on their home course. When people think about cross country and they wonder who the best team in Indiana is, it should be Indiana, not Notre Dame. We hope as a team to get at-large points and prove that we are the top team in the state and that we deserve a higher spot in the rankings. I want to give all I have in this race. It is time for every individual on the team to do that in every race from now on. I think we will enter the race with a highly competitive mentality and we will show what Indiana Cross Country is all about." -Bart Phariss
Not Just Gooden...Grrreat!
Sophomore Nathan Gooden has proven after a redshirt season that he is no fluke. Gooden finished third among those competing in the Sam Bell Invitational and recently posted an 8K time of 26:12.41 at the Indiana Intercollegiates. Gooden strained a hamstring in the Roy Griak meet and reaggravated the pull in a recent practice. Though uncertain for now of the implications, Gooden hopes to recover in time to help his team at Notre Dame.
"At this point in the season, my individual focus is on where I want to be four years from now. I'm really focusing on increasing my strength and endurance. I couldn't be happier with my performance so far. I really put in a lot of work this summer and I think that that, added with my recent training, has put me in a positive position to help out the team. I consider myself fortunate for that. If I'm one-hundred percent this Friday as far as my hamstring, then I will run. If not, I will hold off because we have bigger fish to fry at Pre-NCAA's and I want to be there to contribute to that." -Nathan Gooden
Sophomore Jeff Zeha is ready to ride after his freshman redshirt season. Zeha placed 34th at the World Cross Country Junior team trials in 1999. In 2000, Zeha won the 3000m steeplechase at Junior Nationals and competed in the USA vs. Canada Dual Meet in the same event. After time off, Zeha has entered the cross country season with abandon and is looking to continue to move up. He recently finished fourth for the team at the Indiana Intercollegiates with a time of 25:59.74. Zeha was in the top 100 at Minnesota (fourth for team-25:44).
"We're taking the Notre Dame meet in as a big meet but it pales in comparison to next week at Pre-NCAA's and we'll just have to train through this week. Even though I've been in the top five lately, I'm really not happy with the gap that has been apparent between number five and number one. So, individually, I want to try and step up my performance, perhaps run with Powers or Phariss, and work to lower our overall team score." -Jeff Zeha
Out of the Gate Nate
Sophomore Nathan Purcell is entering his first year of collegiate competition after redshirting his freshman year. While Purcell was temporarily set back due to a late summer injury, he has steadily progressed and will look to continue that trend so that he may be prepared to support his team in upcoming meets such as Notre Dame and the Pre-NCAA in early October. At the Sam Bell Invitational 7K, Purcell ran a 5:38 per mile average to finish with a time of 24:30.82. In the Indiana Intercollegiates 8K, Purcell crossed the line in 26:30.20. On the weekend of September 30th, Purcell competed individually at the Indiana State Invite and ran 26:11.0 (29th).
Looking for a Sweet Performance
Former redshirt freshman and sophomore teammate Matt Sweetman will join Purcell at the Indiana State Invitational in Terre Haute. Sweetman finished third among the Hoosiers competing in the Sam Bell 7K with a time of 23:40.80 (5:26 per mile average). In the Open 8K of the Indiana Intercollegiates, Sweetman crossed the line in 26:22.40. Sweetman also travelled to Indiana State and logged a 27:16.30 for 8K, despite running at his first 80 mile training week.
"Indiana State was a learning experience for me. I started out a bit faster than I normally do. I wasn't expecting it to have such an affect but after training so hard all week, it really took a toll. Going into Notre Dame, the course is very flat, so I'm not going to listen to the kilometer times as much. Rather, I am going to gauge my performance by where I am in the field. I am just going to relax and run my race and see where that takes me." -Matt Sweetman
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