Wilson Q&A (11/11/04)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana women's cross country coach Judy Wilson recently sat down with iuhoosiers.com to preview Saturday's NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet in Ypsilanti, Mich., and the ensuing NCAA Championship.
What is your team's training approach between the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA's?
"We pretty much will stick with what we have done in previous years. We have managed to finish fourth at the regional three times in the last four years. Twice, that fourth place finish has put us at the NCAA Championships. We certainly wouldn't have been anyone's pick to go last year, and that was a nice meet for us. We will shorten our workouts and I'll tweak things for individual runners to try to get everyone on the same page for these last two races. Having five to seven runners perform well all on the same day doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's a very good thing."
How does last week's Big Ten Championship affect the runners confidence and mind set heading into the last two races of the Cross Country season?
It was unfortunate for the team that we did not place higher, but Jessica (Gall) walked away from that race knowing she still hasn't fully gone to the `bottom of the well'. Kristin (Whitezell) is finally seeing a lot of hard work pay off and I think she knows what she is capable of doing at the NCAA Regional and Championship level now. Our other runners are fit, they just need to put it all together and race hard and smart. We will need a good solid performance out of them for us to get to the `show' and finish where I think we can.
What are the keys to maintaining the high level of performance throughout the NCAA's?
"Well, to me, every runner out there is in the same boat and has put in a lot of hard work, it just comes down to how much each runner on the team wants it."
How does this year's NCAA field and individual competitors stack up to last year's?
"I actually don't think the field is as difficult this year. There are always quality individuals out there, but from what I've seen, we should be able to compete in the top 15 if our top four runners are where I think they could be. There are some teams in the top 10-14 who just aren't as good as they have been in the past."
Finally, in your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle standing in the way from reaching the NCAA Championship?
"There aren't any. We aren't just trying to make the meet. We are trying to become a top 10 program. Period."
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