Women's Cross Country

    After a strong performance at the NCAA Regional on Nov. 13, the women's cross country team received an at-large bid to the 2004 Division I NCAA Cross Country Championship.
    The No. 24-ranked women's team is coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional held in Ypsilanti, Mich., on the campus of Eastern Michigan. Three Hoosiers earned all-region honors led by sophomore Jessica Gall who placed seventh overall in 20:16.2. Sophomore Kristin Whitezell finished 17th with a time of 20:51, while junior Kelly Siefker also earned the award, placing 20th in 20:55.5.
    Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions, for a total of 18 teams. Thirteen additional teams were selected at-large.
    Indiana State University will host the 2004 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships, Nov. 22, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The women's race will begin at 11 a.m. eastern time followed by the men's race at 12:15 p.m.

    Hoosiers Place Fourth At NCAA Great Lakes Regional
    The Indiana women's cross country team had three runners place in the top 20 to pace the squad to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional held last Saturday afternoon. Sophomores Jessica Gall and Kristin Whitezell and junior Kelly Siefker led IU, as the trio finished in the top 20 and completed the 6,000m-event in under 21 minutes.
    Gall paced the Hoosiers for a fourth time on the season, finishing seventh overall with a time of 20:16.2. Whitezell was the next Hoosier to finish, coming in at 17th place in 20:51, just ahead of Siefker who placed 20th in a time of 20:55.5.
    Sophomore Lindsay Hattendorf ran in 51st with a time of 21:29.3, followed by junior Larra Overton who's time of 21:29.9 was good enough for 53rd. Rounding out the Hoosiers was senior Mindy Peterson (77th - 21:58.5) and Julie Shields (97th - 22:19.5).

    Three Hoosiers Tabbed All-Region
    With a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals, the Indiana women's cross country team had three of its members earn all-region honors. Sophomores Jessica Gall and Kristin Whitezell, along with junior Kelly Siefker garnered the honors with excellent showings in the regional meet. Gall, who also earned all-region in 2003, finished seventh overall in a time of 20:16.2. She was followed by Whitezell's time of 20:51 to place 17th, while Siefker finished 20th in 20:55.5. It marks the first all-region honors for Whitezell and Siefker.

    Did you know...
    • With a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, it marked the third consecutive year and the fourth time in the last five regionals that Indiana has placed fourth.
    • IU has had five individuals earn All-American honors, including current Hoosier Mindy Peterson.
    • The only IU runner to earn two All-American honors was Michelle Dekkers (1988 and 1989).
    • IU head coach Judy Wilson has guided the Hoosiers to three consecutive fourth-place results at the NCAA Regional and three straight NCAA appearances. The three consecutive years in an NCAA Championship has only been done one other time in the program's history (1988-90).

    Gall Leading the Way
    Sophomore Jessica Gall has not only excelled on the course, but off the course as well. The West Lafayette, Ind., native has been the first IU finisher in every race this season, except for the Great American Cross Country Festival when she placed second, due to a minor injury. In the classroom, Gall is just as strong, as the political science major is carrying a perfect 4.0 average.
    Thus far on the campaign, Gall has been named Big Ten runner of the week on two occasions, first team All-Big Ten and all-region.

    IU At 2003 NCAA Championship
    The Indiana University women's cross country team finished 27th with 571 points at the NCAA Championships held in Waterloo, Iowa, at the Byrnes Park/Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course on the campus of University of Northern Iowa.
    The team competed in its second national championship since 1990. The women entered the race ranked 24th in the NCAA poll.
    Individually for the Hoosiers, junior Mindy Peterson earned All-American status and placed 46th overall, in leading IU. She finished with a time of 20:51.0. Senior Audrey Giesler placed 82nd overall with a time of 21:09.2. Sophomore Kelly Siefker, was the Hoosiers' third-best finisher, placing 139th overall with a time of 21:29.3. Freshman Kristin Whitezell finished 215th at 22:14.5, sophomore and sophomore Larra Overton finished 227th at 22:23.0. Rounding out the Hoosier lineup, were juniors Julie Shields and Heidi Crowley with a times of 22:27.4 and 22:38.4, respectively.

    IU NCAA Championship History
    The Indiana women's cross country team will be appearing in its third consecutive NCAA Championship. It marks the just the sixth appearance overall in the program's history (began in 1981) and it is the second time the Hoosiers have had three consecutive appearances in an NCAA Tournament, with the last coming from 1988-90.
    Last season, the Hoosiers placed 27th overall, after a 14th-place finish at the 2002 NCAA Championship. The Hoosiers have never won an NCAA Championship, and had their highest finish of sixth coming in the program's first-ever NCAA appearance in 1988. IU placed in the top 10 only one other time, coming in 1989, when the team finished ninth overall. Individually, IU has had two NCAA champions, with the last being Michelle Dekkers who won the event in 1988. Kim Betz is the Hoosiers' only other national champion, winning the event in 1987.
    Five IU student-athletes have been tabbed All-American, including current Hoosier Mindy Peterson, who placed 46th in 2003 in a time of 20:51.0. Prior to Peterson's honor, the last All-American accolades from an IU runner came in 1989 and Mary Beth Driscoll and Dekkers both garnered the honor.

    IU Finishes Fifth At Big Ten Championship
    Sophomore Jessica Gall earned first team All-Big Ten honors with a third-place finish to lead the 21st-ranked Indiana women's cross country team to a fifth-place showing at the 2004 Big Ten Championship held on the Ashton Cross Country on the campus of the University of Iowa.
    Gall was one of two IU runners to garner Big Ten honors. Sophomore Kristin Whitezell placed 12th to nab a spot on the second team.
    Gall finished the 6K event in a time of 21:02, finishing one second ahead of Penn State's Molly Landreth. It marks the second Big Ten honor in Gall's short cross country career as she earned second team honors in 2002 with an 11th-place finish.
    Following Whitezell was junior Kelly Siefker who placed 20th with a time of 21:56, while junior Larra Overton had a time of 22:39 to place 47th.
    Senior Mindy Peterson placed 56th (22:53) and was immediately followed by teammate Lindsay Hattendorf who came in 57th (22:56). Freshman Nikki Peterson rounded out IU with a time of 24:16 to place 86th.

    Gall And Whitezell Earn All Big Ten Honors
    Sophomores Jessica Gall and Kristin Whitezell finished third and 12th, respectively, as the duo earned All-Big Ten honors at the Big Ten Championship on Oct. 31. Gall finished in a time of 21:02 to finish in third place receive first team accolades, while Whitezell's time of 21:39 was good enough to garner her a spot on the second team. The top seven finishers at the Big Ten Championship were named to the first team, while the next seven received a spot on the second team. It marked the second time in Gall's career and the first time for Whitezell that they made an all-conference team.

    IU Returns To The Top-30
    After a fourth-place showing at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov.13, the Indiana women's cross country team remained in the national-rankings, moving up four spots to No. 24 in the country in the most recent FinishLynx Top-30 poll announced on Nov. 15.

    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.


    IU Ready For NCAA's (11/19/04)


    Go Hoosiers!
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    Go Hoosiers!
    Indiana Receives At-Large Bid To NCAA Championship

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