November 15, 2001
Bloomington, Ind.--Raising Indiana women's cross country prospects of success next season is the addition of 2001 Indiana state cross country champion Jessica Gall of West Lafayette High School. Gall has officially signed to become the third state cross country champion attracted to IU women's cross country in four recruiting years.
Gall had finished ninth as a sophomore, fifth as a junior, and recently won the Indiana state title on the Hoosiers' home course with a 4K time of 14:08. She won the meet by 10 seconds in a 5:42 per mile pace. Gall has also accumulated success on the track. As a sophomore, her 4x800 meter relay team won the state meet with a time of 11:21.38. She went on individually to place third in the two-mile in 11-flat.
In addition to her wealth of athletic talent, Gall is also a finalist for Indiana University's Wells Scholarship. She won the Mental Attitude Award at the 2001 state cross country meet and is West Lafayette's National Honor Society president.
Bogenschutz says of Gall, "She has vision about what she wants to accomplish and I think she is willing to do what it takes to make that vision a reality. She has a good work ethic, a good attitude, and from what she went through as a junior, she came out and came back to win the state meet this year. That shows how she can handle adversity."
Bogenschutz feels Gall can contribute to the atmosphere of the team as well adding, "During the recruiting process, she was a true team player. She wants to help Indiana women's cross country be one of the best programs in the country."
On Gall's potential as a representative of both the athletic and academic realms, Bogenschutz says, "I think Indiana University is very fortunate to have Jessica attend this institution and one day become a part of the alumna. She has a great future in front of her and will be a huge asset not just to the team, but to the university community."
Gall says she was attracted to IU by both the academic and athletic program, "Part of the reason that I chose Indiana was because of the academics. I love the campus. It's a beautiful setting. The School of Education attracted me. I want to major in secondary education and I'm interested in the Honors College there. The main reason was coach Bogenschutz. When I talked to her, I believe in the ideals that she does about running. I knew that if I ran for her, she'd push me to be the best that I could be. That's my goal, to reach my potential and help make the team better. All of the girls on the team were great. I felt comfortable at IU like it was a place I could call home. I meshed with coach's personality and she got me excited about the team and the potential that we will have."
Although the Indiana women's cross country team struggled through 2001 after losing their top three athletes to injury prior to the start of the season, Hoosier youth were willing to rise to the challenge. Indiana placed two first-year competitors in the top 20 at the 2001 Big Ten Championship. Indiana returns a full squad in 2002 including their top three from the 2000 season and with a healthy year and the addition of Gall, head coach Judy Bogenschutz feels her team can compete with any team for the conference title and earn their place as a top-15 team in the country.