IU Ranked No. 21 (10/20/04)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After an eighth-place showing against an elite field in the Pre-NCAA's last weekend, the Indiana women's cross country team returned to the national-rankings, coming in at No. 21 in the country in the most recent FinishLynx Top-30 poll announced on Wednesday. The Hoosiers, who entered the meet unranked, bested eight nationally-ranked teams including No. 16 Baylor, No. 18 Columbia, No. 23 Idaho and No. 25 UCLA, among others.
"From the beginning of the season, I felt that we have the kind of team that can be among the top 20 in the country," head coach Judy Wilson said. "In 2002, it was a big thing for us to get ranked because the Indiana women hadn't been in the national poll since 1990. I think this group could handle it if we weren't ranked, or weren't ranked as high as we think we should be. They know where they are as a team and they know where they can be at the end of the season."
Last weekend at the Pre-NCAA's in Terre Haute, Ind., the Cream and Crimson were led by sophomore Jessica Gall who placed 15th overall with a career-best time of 21:01.1, topping her previous best 6K mark by over 20 seconds. Her previous best time on a 6K course was at the 2002 NCAA Championship when she recorded a time of 21:23.1.
Also recording career best times for the Hoosiers was junior Kelly Siefker and sophomore Kristin Whitezell. Siefker recorded a 21:18.6 to finish 27th overall, topping her old mark of 21:29.4, which was set at the 2003 NCAA Championship. Whitezell placed 76th with a time of 21:59.5, besting her former career-best 6K time of 22:01 set at the 2003 NCAA Regional.
"I was very encouraged by our team's performance at the Pre-NCAA's because as soon as the race was over, I thought we placed 10th, 11th or 12th," Wilson continued. "There weren't any girls in our top five who had a tremendous performance. They all came away from the race knowing that they can run a better race in the future. For us to run just ok, and finish eighth in that quality of a race, is pretty exciting."
The Hoosiers will next compete at the Big Ten Championships, which will be held in Iowa City, Iowa on Oct. 31.
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