IU Heads South For Chile Pepper Festival
Oct. 13, 2010
IU cross country heads to the state of Arkansas for its fourth meet of the year at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. The meet is one of the largest cross country meets in the country each year and will feature the defending national champion Oklahoma State men. The meet will begin at 9:45 am ET with the men's 10K and continue with the women's 5K at 10:30 am.
Indiana enters with the men's team ranked seventh nationally and the women's team slotted 24th. Other ranked teams scheduled to be in attendance are - men's teams: No. 6 Arkansas, No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 21 Tulsa - and women's teams: No. 21 Tulsa, No. 25 Arkansas and No. 28 Oklahoma State. The meet provides the Hoosiers with their final test prior to the Big Ten Championships.
LAST TIME OUT
The IU men, entering the meet ranked No. 25 by the USTFCCCA, also defeated No. 23 Princeton, No. 11 Syracuse, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 20 Providence and No. 18 Michigan State. Bayer took second in 23:30 and Poore was third in 23:31. De'Sean Turner took eighth in 23:47 and Zach Mayhew was 10th in 23:52. Ben Hubers wrapped up the IU top five in 20th (24:01).
The Indiana women finished fifth behind four nationally-ranked opponents (No. 11 Syracuse, No. 29 North Carolina, No. 20 Michigan State and No. 22 Michigan) and ahead of No. 7 Florida and No. 26 Wisconsin. Senior Sarah Pease finished seventh with a time of 20:25 and junior Chelsea Blanchard was 13th in 20:32. The IU top five was rounded out by Samantha Ginther in 39th (20:59), Erica Ridderman in 44th (21:09), Kelsey Duerksen in 48th (21:14) and Lyndsey Wall in 49th (21:14).
HOOSIERS MOVE INTO NATIONAL TOP-10
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said the Hoosiers are where they feel they belong, but now they must prove they deserve to stay there.
"We had a good weekend and showed that we have a talented group of student-athletes on our men's and women's teams," said Helmer. "Now, we need to continue our training and perform at our best when it really counts, during the championship season."
BAYER IS BIG TEN'S RUNNER OF THE WEEK
Indiana director and head coach Ron Helmer said Bayer is very deserving and led the Hoosiers in an impressive team effort.
"We had a great team performance on the men's side," said Helmer. "Andy led the way for us and is very deserving of this award. It is exciting to be around the group of talented student-athletes we have on this team."
IU OWNS THE INDIANA INTERCOLLEGIATE
Blanchard made her move with a kilometer left on the 5K course leaving her competition behind to finish 4.5 seconds ahead of the field in 17:37.8. Ginther outkicked Ball State's Ali Bishel in the last 100m for a .4 second advantage in 17:42.3. Three more Hoosiers finished in the top 10, Caitlin Engel (6th, 17:54.8), Kelsey Duerksen (8th, 17:57.9) and Erica Ridderman (17:58.2). All nine Hoosiers finished in the top 18 spots of a race with 179 finishers.
Hubers led the Hoosier charge for the second-straight meet, finishing in 24:33.7. Mayhew was close behind in 24:36.9. The two Hoosiers were more than 10 seconds better than the rest of the field. Andy Weatherford took seventh in 24:55.2 and Nate Morrow was ninth in 25:03.7. Ben Bizuneh wrapped up the IU top five in 18th (25:36.8). Three more Hoosiers finished in the top 25 out of 185 finishers.
HOOSIERS ROLL IN SEASON OPENER
Pease ran the first 2K of the 5K course at a planned slower-than-normal pace before racing to the finish. She was in eighth place at the 2K mark, yet finished the race in first by nearly 10 seconds with a time of 18:12.86. Chelsea Blanchard took second in 18:22.11 and Samantha Ginther was third in 18:29.47 as Hoosiers claimed the top 10 spots.
Jefferson, now a professional triathlete, took the win in 25:17.99. Hubers ran a "handicapped" race much like Pease. The Marietta, Ga., native and teammates Andy Bayer, Andrew Poore, De'Sean Turner and Zach Mayhew all ran a planned pace for the first three miles of the 8K course. Hubers finished in 25:30.5 for the collegiate title and was immediately followed in by Bayer in 25:30.83, Poore in 25:31.16, Turner in 25:31.69, Nate Morrow in 25:32.18 and Mayhew in 25:32.63. Andy Weatherford was ninth in 25:38.39, wrapping up the Hoosier top seven.
THE HOOSIER WOMEN
The 2009 season saw the Indiana women advance to the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time since 2004. The Hoosiers return all but one runner from that squad's top five, Wendi Robinson.
Robinson's shoes will be tough to fill, but Pease led the way for the Hoosiers at the 2009 Great Lakes Regional and returns after her 2009-10 season saw her earn All-Region and All-Big Ten nods in cross country and All-America and All-Big Ten honors in track and field. Blanchard also earned All-Region honors in 2009, and she advanced to the NCAA Indoor Championships on the distance medley relay and the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 5,000m.
Other key returners include 2010 regional qualifiers in the steeplechase Breanne Ehrman and Caitlin Engel, junior Lindsey Hartman, who took third at the Big Ten indoor and outdoor meets in the 800m, and staples in the 2009 top five like sophomore Samantha Ginther and junior Helene DeLone. Ginther was among IU's top four at every meet she ran in her freshman campaign.
THE HOOSIER MEN
The Hoosier men look to avenge a disappointing end to the 2009 cross country season. The team finished fourth at Big Tens and fourth at the NCAA Regional, missing out on a bid into the NCAA Championships. The IU men return the entire 2009 squad, including three All-Big Ten honorees in cross country and two All-Region selections. Three returning Hoosiers were named Big Ten Runner of the week during the 2009 season.
Leading the way will be 2009 NCAA individual qualifier Andrew Poore. Poore, a junior, backed up his NCAA qualification in cross country with All-America honors during the indoor season and another NCAA trip outdoors. Sophomore Zach Mayhew was the top Hoosier at the 2009 Big Ten meet in cross country and fellow sophomore Andy Bayer had a breakout indoor season that saw him earn two All-America certificates, including a third-place finish in the 3,000m at NCAAs.
The Hoosiers get junior Ben Hubers back and healthy after he redshirted the 2009 season, and 2008 All-Big Ten honoree Cole Hardacre returns as a junior as well. De'Sean Turner enters his junior campaign after advancing to NCAAs during the 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons and becoming an All-American and Big Ten Champion in the steeplechase. Other key returners include redshirt juniors Jacob Laird and Andy Weatherford and redshirt sophomore Nate Morrow.
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