Hoosiers Prepare For Big Ten's (10/27/04)
After taking a week off from competition last week, the Indiana women's cross country team will next travel to Iowa City, Iowa to compete at the Big Ten Championship. The Hoosiers, who placed eighth against tough competition at the Pre-NCAA's on Oct. 16, have won two Big Ten Championships (1989 and 1990). IU has placed in the top four in the last two seasons, and went on to go to the NCAA Championships in both years. Last season, the Hoosiers fourth-place finish, coupled with a third-place finish in 2002, marked the first time since the 1989-90 campaign the women's team had back-to-back top-four finishes at the Big Ten's.
Quoting Coach Wilson
After having more success in the last two years at the Big Ten Championships, what are the team's feelings heading into this weekend's event?\
"They know that we have a little more experience on this team than we have had in the last two years. Of the nine that we are running, eight of them have competed at the NCAA's over the last two years. In 2002, we were very close to pulling off the win when, at the beginning of the season, I don't think many of them even thought about that. As a group, I think that they feel they are ready to surprise some people."
Does the good showing at the Pre-NCAA's and returning to the rankings give the team any kind of a confidence boost, and if so, how will that affect their race this weekend?
"The Pre-NCAA race was a big boost to their confidence because I think it was our first meet where they saw what they could accomplish as a team. Historically, we haven't come off the starting line at the very beginning of the season and run real well as a team. It usually takes us a while to evolve, and from a coaching perspective, it's very interesting to watch. I feel good about where our fitness is, we just need to get to the starting line now."
IU Does Well In 2003 Big Ten Championship
The Indiana women used strong performances from Audrey Giesler, who finished ninth individually, to help the Hoosiers to a fourth-place finish in the women's 6K team standings. The No. 10 Michigan women won the league title.
Last year's Big Ten Championships carried a historical significance for the program. For the IU women, it marked the first time since 1989-90 that the Hoosiers have had back-to-back top four finishes. IU won consecutive league crowns in 1989-90.
Giesler was Indiana's top finisher and ninth overall at 21:22.9. Giesler was followed by sophomore Kelly Siefker who was 31st overall at 22:09.4, followed by Mindy Peterson (34th, 22:13.7), Larra Overton (32nd, 22:24.6), freshman Kristin Whitezell (48th, 22:32), Julie Shields (58th, 22:50.8) and Heidi Crowley (67th, 23:05.1).
IU At The Big Ten Championship
The Indiana women's cross country team has won two Big Ten Cross Country Championships, coming in 1989 and 1990. The Hoosiers are tied for third among Big Ten Champions with Michigan State; however, IU has claimed three individual champions as well, bringing its total to five championships which is third-best in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has won a combined 23 championships, while Michigan is second with 10, including capturing the titles the last two years. Below is a year-by-year breakdown of the Big Ten Cross Country Championships:
Year IU Place Site Team Champion
1981 6th Michigan State Michigan State
1982 8th Iowa Iowa
1983 7th Illinois Wisconsin
1984 7th Purdue Wisconsin
1985 T3rd Michigan Wisconsin
1986 5th Ohio State Michigan
1987 4th Indiana Wisconsin
1988 2nd Iowa Wisconsin
1989 1st Wisconsin Indiana
1990 1st Minnesota Indiana
1991 10th Purdue Wisconsin
1992 8th Illinois Michigan
1993 7th Michigan State Michigan
1994 10th Iowa Michigan
1995 7th Minnesota Wisconsin
1996 7th Indiana Wisconsin
1997 8th Ohio State Wisconsin
1998 9th Michigan Wisconsin
1999 5th Northwestern Wisconsin
2000 7th Wisconsin Wisconsin
2001 9th Illinois Michigan State
2002 3rd Purdue Michigan
2003 4th Michigan State Michigan
Last Time Out
Sophomore Jessica Gall placed 15th overall to lead the Indiana women's cross country team to an eighth-place finish against an elite field in the Pre-NCAA's hosted by Indiana State at LaVern Gibson Championship Course on Oct. 16. The Hoosiers had a team score of 309, besting eight nationally-ranked teams. Gall's time of 21:01.1 was her career-best mark in a 6K event, topping her previous best 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.
Junior Kelly Siefker also recorded a career-best time on the 6K course with a 21:18.6 to finish 27th overall. She surpassed her old mark of 21:29.4, which was set at the 2003 NCAA Championship. IU senior Mindy Peterson ran a time of 21:54.3 to place 68th overall. Following Peterson was sophomore Kristin Whitezell who placed 76th with a time of 21:59.5. Sophomore Lindsay Hattendorf (22:22.5), junior Larra Overton (22:35.5) and Nikki Peterson (23:42.1) rounded out the Cream and Crimson.
Five Hoosier women competed in the Open 6,000 meters - Allison Miller (23:28.4), Tina Barniak (23:42.0), Julie Shields (23:47.7), Ashley Groth (24:30.5) and Maura Ratcliff (24:42.3).
IU Returns To The Top-30
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.
Jessica Gall Named Big Ten Athlete of the Week....Again
For the second time this season, IU sophomore Jessica Gall was named as the Big Ten Athlete of the Week following her performance at the Indiana Intercollegiates. Gall outran Ball State's Jill Scully to the finish line to win the Indiana Intercollegiate title in 17:40. Gall joined Michigan State freshman Danette Doetzel, as the co-Big Ten Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week. Gall's previous conference nod came on the week of Sept. 7 after being the top IU finisher at the Indiana Open with a time of 18:32 in the 5K event.
Hoosiers On The Web
For the latest information on Indiana cross country, please refer to the official IU athletics' website, iuhoosiers.com.
The Coach: Judy Wilson is in her seventh season as the women's distance coach and head women's cross country coach at her alma mater. As a student-athlete in the mid-1980s, she played a key role in the Hoosiers' regional and national success in cross country, and she is enjoying the same results as head coach.
In the past five seasons, Indiana has had six All-Big Ten athletes. IU also continues to hold high academic standards as 32 Hoosiers earned Academic All-Big Ten honors the last three seasons.
A former walk-on at Indiana (1984-1988), Wilson transformed into one of the most improved and strongest athletes on the team. She was named team captain in 1987-88 and won the Most Improved Athlete Award and the Coaches Award in 1986 and 1988 and the Scholastic Achievement Award in 1987.
She ran with the likes of Colette Goudreau, Kim Betz, and Michelle Dekkers during her time as a Hoosier and still owns one of the fastest Hoosier times on the IU course (4th) and ranks in the top five in Indiana history in the 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 meters.
Upon completing eligibility, Wilson became the head coach for the girls cross country and track and field teams and boys distance track at Bloomington South High School for two years. She obtained 1989 Regional Coach of the Year honors after leading the cross country team to its first state qualification in the school's history and coaching a 400m state champion. In 1990, she coached state qualifiers in the 800m and 4x400m relay.
During this time, Wilson also received a B.S. in Exercise Science/Physical Education from IU and has earned Level 1 and Level 2 USAT&F Coaching Education Certification.
She continued to compete, running for Nike Indiana. She was fourth in the 5,000m in the 1988 Olympic Trials and second in the 10K at TAC Nationals that same year. Her Olympic Trials performance capped off the amazing development of her career. She began as a 5:26 miler and became a national-caliber distance runner.
In 1989, Wilson was second in the 3,000m at TAC Nationals (9:18), won the Indianapolis 500 Half-Marathon (1:17.59) and set the record time in winning the half-marathon event at the Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City (1:16.43). The following year, she captured 10th place at the 1990 U.S. Cross Country Trials.
The year 1990 also marked Wilson's first collegiate coaching position as assistant men's and women's cross country and track and field at the University of South Florida. She helped lead the team to a Sun Belt Conference title that year and was voted Sun Belt Conference Co-Coach of the Year.
Wilson then returned to her home state and served as head coach and program coordinator for men's and women's cross country and track and field at DePauw University from 1992-1996. Wilson earned ICAC Coach of the Year after leading the women's track team to the conference crown in `95.
Following her tenure at DePauw, Wilson became the assistant women's cross country and track and field coach at the University of Connecticut from 1996-1998. She coached national qualifiers including Danyelle Wood, the highest finisher ever at UConn, who posted times of 34:09 in the 10K and 16:36 in the 5K, as well as Allison Ciosek, who placed 11th in the 10K at the 1998 NCAA's with a time of 34:48.
The fall of 1998 marked Wilson's return to Indiana. She believes the keys to the recent turnaround of IU women's cross country program are a lesser occurrence of injuries and individualized workout plans which meet each athlete's specific training needs. The focus of the program is to steadily improve each athlete's fitness level while teaching them the mental approach to training and racing.
Wilson is a native of Oldenburg, Ind., and graduate of Batesville H.S. She and her husband, Mark, reside in Bloomington with their infant son, Hunter.
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