October 31, 2003
Bloomington, IN - As the Indiana women's cross country team heads to East Lansing, Mich. for the Nov. 2 Big Ten Championships, head coach Judy Wilson sat down with iuhoosiers.com to discuss the all-important month of November.
Now that the first of the big three meets (league, regional and national) is here this week, how does that impact this week's training? What is the difference between your team's training approach between two weeks from the race and week of the race?
JW: "We go a little easier the week before the Big Ten and then hard again the week after and then relax again before the regional. We have always done this and had pretty good results. I think women tend to lose their fitness a little quicker than men and so I don't like to taper a lot unless I feel that people really need it. We have some women who have had great summers, not much of a break, so I think we are in a situation where we need to be rested."
If you had to pick one runner who could surprise at the Big Ten meet, who would that be and why?
JW: "Mindy Peterson, she is very fit right now, but she just hasn't raced smart. She could go from 93rd at the Pre-NCAA meet to top 10 at the Big Ten, which would help us a lot. Allyson Hammond (2000) went from 89th at pre-ncaa's to 5th in the big ten and then 4th in the regional and qualified individually for NCAA's.
How does the balance of Big Ten cross country compare from 2002 to 2003?
JW: "Michigan State, Michigan, and Penn State are stronger. Wisconsin is a little stronger than last year also."
When the season starts in August, you have goals that you hope to attain by November. How does the current condition of the team compare to goals set nearly three months ago?
JW: "When we started in August, I felt that we would have a hole to fill if we didn't run Jess (Jessica Gall), then Becky (Obrecht) wasn't healed from the spring and Lindsay (Hattendorf) got hurt. So it just left us in a position of having to teach some people like Kristin (Whitezell), Kelly (Siefker) and Julie (Shields) what to do in big races. I'd like to think that we could try to get back to the NCAA meet, but we have a lack of experience. I'm not saying that it can't be done, because it can. We just need some big performances from some people."