October 21, 2002
Bloomington, IN - After finishing ahead of five nationally-ranked teams at last Saturday's Pre-NCAA meet, the Indiana women's cross country team is ranked 18th in this week's FinishLynx/NCAA Division I national poll. This is the Hoosiers' best ranking since the end of the 1990 season, when IU was 13th at the NCAA Championship.
Indiana is idle until the Nov. 3 Big Ten Championship at Purdue. The Hoosiers will return to West Lafayette Nov. 16 for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet and hope to perform well enough there to advance to the NCAA Championship Nov. 25 in Terre Haute.
Indiana coach Judy Wilson had specific goals when she took over the program in 1998, and those objectives are now coming true.
"When I took the job, I felt that Indiana could be in the Top 25 within four years, and now, starting year five, we're there," she said. "It's all about the people you have in your program, and now, we have the right mix. Indiana is a great school with top notch facilities. There is no reason why we should not be a national factor in cross country."
Juniors Becky Obrecht and Audrey Giesler notes that the recognition comes at the perfect time.
"Our goals at the start of the season were to qualify for NCAAs and make a run at the Big Ten," Obrecht said. "Now, those goals are right there in front of us. We realize what we can do, and now, we're ready to go."
"We're definitely prepared. We've been working towards this for a while." Giesler said. "This (ranking) just gives us confidence. We still do not think we ran to our potential (on Saturday). There is still room for improvement."
Indeed, the Hoosiers are in peak condition, both physically and mentally.
"We all get along really well," Obrecht said. "Everyone is so enthusiastic and sees the big picture. We all feed off each other. It really energizes us to train harder."