November 7, 2000
Cross Country Hoping to Make History at Great Lakes Regional
Site: Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Mich. Host: Eastern Michigan Time: W6K-11a.m./M10K-12p.m. EST
Great Lakes Regional Preview
The Great Lakes Regional cross country qualifiying meet in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Saturday, Nov. 11th is just one of nine regional competitions taking place across the nation this weekend, all of which provide the battleground for teams to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships to be held Nov. 20th at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
With only 31 starting positions spray-painted on the 2000 NCAA Championships course, qualification standards are high. In the Division I regional meets, seven athletes may compete for each team. The top two teams from each region will automatically qualify for the finals for a total of 18 automatic teams. In addition to these, 13 teams will receive at-large bids by the NCAA on Nov. 13th based on regular-season wins against other automatic and potential-qualifying teams. A total of 38 individuals also have the opportunity to advance to the championships final (the top four individuals from each region plus two at-large individuals selected nationally). Any individual qualifier must place in the top 25 in one's region. All of that added up equals 255 athletes of each gender making their way to Ames, Iowa, in late November.
The women and men will run the distances specified for the NCAA Division I Championships race (6K or 3.7 miles for women and 10K or 6.2 miles for men). The Eastern Michigan Eagles host the meet on the Eagle Crest Golf Club course. The women's 6K begins at 11:00 a.m. EST with the men's 10K following at 12:00 p.m. EST.
Regionals Makes the Ride Last
Both the Indiana men's and women's cross country teams have ridden roller coasters of excitement this season. The Big Ten Championships on Sunday, October 29th was one of the high points of their year 2000 ride with the men's team taking second for their highest Big Ten finish in twenty years, the men's coach, Dr. Robert Chapman, being named Big Ten Coach of the Year, and both teams bringing home All-Big Ten athletes. Senior Aaron Gillen took third, sophomore Chad Andrews took 11th, and sophomore Allyson Hammond took fifth.
With their overall finish, the men are now ranked 15th in the nation and second in the Great Lakes Region according to United States Cross Country Coaches Association polls. Yet, while both teams have undergone remarkable improvement in the recent past and in the present, the Great Lakes Regional marks a point at which each team's performance determines whether the ride ends or continues into the record books.
Although the men have had seven individual NCAA Championships qualifiers in the past twelve years (the most recent being Tom Chorny, who earned All-American honors on his home course in 1999), if Indiana qualifies for nationals as a team this weekend, it will be the first time the men have gone as a team in 13 years. On the women's side, if they qualify as a team or qualify individuals, it will be the first time for either since 1990.
Racing for Results
Complete race results will be made available on the web at www.athletics.indiana.edu or at www.emich.edu/goeagles. In viewing the Indiana website, results can be printed out by choosing the Men's and/or Women's Cross Country link(s) from the main menu. To see all regional qualifications from Great Lakes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, South, South Central, Midwest, Mountain, and West go to www.ncaachampionships.com For more information contact Brooke Nash at (812) 855-9399 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2000 Pre-Region Rankings
Great Lakes polls following October 29th weekend:
3. Notre Dame
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Michigan State
6. Ohio State
9. Indiana State
10. Central Michigan (tie)
10. Miami (Ohio) (tie)
4. Central Michigan
5. Ball State
6. Eastern Michigan
7. Michigan State
8. Notre Dame
Head of the Hoosiers
Dr. Robert Chapman begins his third season as Head Men's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. In two seasons, the Hoosiers have jumped eight spots in the Big Ten standings. Most recently, Chapman was voted 2000 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Yet, his team will not settle for anything less than what they used to be, which was the top team in the Big Ten and a dominant force on the national scene. With their current ranking of 15th in the nation and 2nd in the region, their momentum going into the Great Lakes qualifier is strong. The Hoosiers of 2000 are healthy, strong, and mentally sound and it shows as 11 of the 21 on the roster have run their fastest career 8K times this season.
Judy Bogenschutz also begins her third season as Head Women's Cross Country Coach at Indiana University. In the fall of 1999, Bogenschutz led the squad to it's making the largest single improvement by any team at the Big Ten Cross Country Championship since 1994. A handful of her distance runners were factors in the Indiana Women's Track and Field team's undefeated 2000 seasons and Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Championship team titles. Bogenschutz looks for that success to carry over into the fall and is beginning to see the fruits of her efforts as nine of the 15 athletes on the roster have run their fastest career 5K times this season.
Men's Coach Dr. Robert Chapman: "Things really seem to be clicking for us at the right time. Even with our performance at the Big Tens two weeks ago, the team and I both feel that we are better prepared and more fit now versus then. The move to 10K should help and we've got great momentum heading into this race. We have worked hard on staying focused on what we have to do on November 11th and we are not resting on what we have accomplished so far."
Women's Coach Judy Bogenschutz: "I think that Michigan and Marquette are very vulnerable and we will be one of the six teams fighting for the number two spot and, if not that, the third place position. This is a young team, but we want to go to nationals. That has to be the goal. In a meet with 180 to 200 athletes, this team is not going to settle to finish anywhere close to ninth in the region. And, I think that the team has a much clearer picture of how close they really are."
Indiana Women: Aiming for Ames
Although the women were disappointed with their seventh place Big Ten finish, seven of the nine competitors ran career best 5K times. If they can get a top group to run on all five cylinders at the regional, there may be some surprises on Saturday. The Division I Great Lakes Region combines teams from four states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Seven athletes will compete for the Hoosiers. 1999 results are as follows:
2. Michigan State
4. Notre Dame
7. Kent State
11. Central Michigan
13. Miami (Ohio)
16. Eastern Michigan
17. Western Michigan
18. Ball State
19. Indiana State
21. Bowling Green
22. Youngstown State
23. Detroit Mercy
Big Time Bell
At the 1999 Great Lakes Regional, sophomore Amanda Bell ran her second-fastest career 5K time (17:41.2) to take 15th/first for her team. Bell has been Indiana's top finisher in four of the six meets that her team has competed in this season. Following her win at the 2000 Indiana Intercollegiates 5K (17:45.71), Bell earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors (9/19). Her top 6K times heading into the regional meet include her 21st place finish at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational (21:46) and her Pre-NCAA performance of 22:44.5.
No Holding Down Hammond
Sophomore Allyson Hammond is coming off an amazing performance at the Big Ten Championships where she became Indiana's second All-Big Ten athlete in two seasons with her fifth place finish with a 5K time of 17:32. Her showing marked her career-best 5K race, which couldn't be more telling of her potential at regionals this year. Last year, she followed the same trend of steady improvement and peaked at the Great Lakes to run her season and career best. In the first four races of the 2000 season, Hammond was consistently the second runner for her team, but in the two most recent meets (Pre-NCAA's and Big Tens), she has been Indiana's leader. Her top 6K times moving into the regional competition include her 28th place finish at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational (23:09) and her Pre-NCAA performance of 22:27.4.
Moving Up Magley
In five of the six races that Indiana has competed in during the 2000 season, junior Stephanie Magley has been number three for team. In 1999, Magley posted her top two collegiate times and in 2000, has duplicated that feat, which gives a testimony to her constant improvement as an athlete. Magley shattered her career best 5K time (2000 Notre Dame Inv.-18:35) at the Big Ten Championship this season by 16 seconds as she took 40th (18:19). Her performance was also a 35-second improvement compared to her `99 Big Ten finish. Magley's top 6K times heading into the Great Lakes Regional include her 22:41 at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational and her Pre-NCAA time of 23:51.3.
In all of Indiana's scored meets this season, of which there have been five, junior Erin Womble has scored for her team in either the fourth or fifth position. To add to that, in every race following the first two, Womble has posted career bests. Heading into the season, her best 5K was her 18:52.2 at the `99 Big Ten Championship. In 2000, Womble improved on that time by 10 seconds at the Notre Dame Invitational (18:42). She then went on to shave 21 seconds off of that time at the Big Ten Championships with her 41st place finish (18:21). Womble's top 6K times heading into the regionals include her time at the Roy Griak of 22:42 and her Pre-NCAA performance of 24:16.2.
Weddell has something-You can tell
At the Big Ten Championships, what sophomore/freshman Lauren Weddell had inside of her was a 33rd/third for her team finish with a 5K time of 18:16, which was her season and career best. In only her first season of competition after redshirting, Weddell has been a main factor for the Hoosiers, scoring in the past three meets. Weddell's top 6K times heading into the Great Lakes Regional include her time of 23:19 at the Roy Griak Invite and a 23:58.7 at Pre-NCAA's.
`Going for it' Giesler
Freshman Audrey Giesler entered Indiana with a reputation as a middle-distance runner. This Downers Grove prospect was the Illinois Indoor 800m State Champion yet has quickly proven that she is ready to race, no matter the distance. In the Indiana Intercollegiates, she ran fifth for the team in 19:14.12. In every race since then, Giesler has improved at the 5K distance with her 18:50 at Notre Dame and her 18:48 at the Big Ten Championships. There, Giesler was sixth for her team. At the 6K distance, Giesler ran a 23:09 at the Roy Griak Invite in Minnesota and a 24:24.6 at Pre-NCAA's.
My, My Heidi
Freshman Heidi Crowley is taking big strides in her first season with the Hoosiers. Those big strides are bringing about big reductions in her 5K times. Crowley went from an Indiana Intercollegiates time of 19:26.78 to a time of 19:05 at the Notre Dame Invitational. At Big Tens, she again chopped seconds off of her career best by running an 18:48. Crowley has run a 6K time of 23:34 at the Roy Griak Invitational heading into the Great Lakes.
Indiana Men: Aiming for Ames
With their most recent second place team finish at the Big Ten Championships and their subsequent 2nd place regional ranking, the men's team has proven that they are a legitimate force this year that has potential for automatic qualification. Momentum has been building for the squad throughout the season and they hope to carry that into the regional race to become the first Indiana men's team to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 1987. The Division I Great Lakes Region combines teams from four states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Seven of the eight athletes listed will compete for the Hoosiers. The 1999 results are as follows:
2. Notre Dame
4. Ohio State
6. Central Michigan
7. Michigan State
8. Kent State
10. Miami (Ohio)
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Indiana State
15. Ball State
16. Western Michigan
19. Youngstown State
20. Wright State
24. Detroit Mercy
In every scored cross country meet this season, senior Aaron Gillen has been the top finisher for the Hoosiers. His most recent performance was his best. In that performance, Gillen took third at the Big Ten Championships earning First Team All-Big Ten honors with his 8K career best time of 24:11. By working with Coach Chapman, Gillen has been able to ward off injuries that have plagued him in the past and prevented him from competing in important races such as the 1999 regionals. However, coming off of his impressive Big Ten performance, Gillen will be hungry for greater success. To add to that desire, his 10K time of 31:53.5 at the 2000 Pre-NCAA meet was a career best by 38 seconds (1998 NCAA Regionals 10K-32:31.84).
Senior Tom Brooks has been battling tendonitis in his ankle throughout the 2000 season and has not competed since the Roy Griak Invitational in late September. There, Brooks was the fifth man for the Hoosiers with his second-best career 8K time of 25:55. Since that time, Brooks has been healing while gaining confidence in workouts so that he is ready at the exact point that he will be needed. In the 1999 Great Lakes Regional, Brooks was the sixth finisher for his team with a 10K time of 33:49.3.
Eek! It's Ekman
For the first time this season, senior Chris Ekman was healthy at the 2000 Big Ten Championships and it showed in his 30th place/fifth-for-team finish with an 8K time of 25:09. That most recent performance marked his career best at the 8K distance. Feeling confident that the 2000 season will be one of his first injury-free cross country seasons, Ekman should be ready to truly break out at the regionals.
Power Inside Powers
Sophomore Chris Powers has been either the second or third finisher for the Hoosiers in each of the five scored meets that they have competed in this season. Not only that, but at both the 10K and 8K distance this season, Powers has run the best times of his career. His top times this season include his 8K time of 24:47 at the Notre Dame Invitational and his time of 24:51 at the same distance in the Big Ten Championship where he took 17th overall. In last season's regional competition, Powers was fourth for his team with a 10K time of 32:55.5. Already, Powers has topped that when he ran a 32:14.5 at the Pre-NCAA meet. If he peaks at regionals this season the way he did in 1999, he hopes to have the opportunity to qualify with his team to head back to Iowa and improve on the Ames course.
Sophomore Chad Andrews recently took 11th at the Big Ten Championships with a career best 8K time of 24:39, which earned him Second Team All-Big Ten honors. Andrews began the season in the second position for his team when he paced with teammate Aaron Gillen at the Indiana Intercollegiates 8K to take fifth behind Gillen's fourth. During the following week, however, sickness held Andrews back in the Roy Griak Invitational. As he recovered and worked his way back into the top of the pack, Andrews still managed to top all 1999 8K times as well as his 2000 Intercollegiates time with a 25:19 at the Notre Dame Invite. Two weeks after the Griak meet at the 10K range, Andrews was third for his team with a 32:18.1 at Pre-NCAA's. This was only one second off from his 1999 10K best of 32:17.8, a time which made him the third Hoosier to cross the line at the `99 regionals. At the Big Tens this season, Andrews was back in the number two slot for his team and looks to stay at the front of the pack and help qualify his team for nationals.
Bart On the Charts
In all six meets this year, sophomore/freshman Bart Phariss has come off of a 1999 redshirt season to run in the top five for the Hoosiers. In the span of the 2000 season, Phariss has gone from running a 25:41.54 8K in the first scored meet of the season (Indiana Intercollegiates) to running his most recent 8K time of 24:55 at the Big Ten Championship where he took 20th. In between that time, he posted his career best at the 8K distance with his 24:52 at the Notre Dame Invitational. Heading into the regional meet, Phariss gained experience at the 10K distance when he ran a 32:21.5 to take fourth among his teammates at the Pre-NCAA's.
In three meets this season (Indiana Intercollegiates, the Roy Griak Invitational, and the Notre Dame Invitational), sophomore/freshman Jeff Zeha has been the fourth finisher for his team. His personal bests at the 8K distance include his 25:14 at the Notre Dame Invite and his 25:21 at the recent Big Ten Championship where he took 37th overall. At Pre-NCAA's, Zeha tasted 10K racing in a competitive environment as he was the sixth IU runner to cross the line at Pre-NCAA's with a time of 33:46.8.
Out of the Gate Nate
Sophomore/freshman Nathan Purcell suffered a mid-summer injury, which set him back early in the season. Gradually, Purcell has worked his way back into the main pack for his team. His most recent race (Big Tens) was his best 8K posted this season and, thus, his career best. At the Big Ten Championship, Purcell was right with teammate Jeff Zeha and was the seventh finisher for his team with a time of 25:23 (38th overall and 2 seconds behind Zeha). That time is one minute and seven seconds faster than his time at the first scored meet of the season (Indiana Intercollegiates). As he was getting stronger, Purcell was able to run a 10K on the championships course in the Pre-NCAA "B" race where he took 11th out of 118 with a time of 32:53.6.