Jessica Gall Earns All-America Honors At NCAA Cross Country Championship
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Sophomore Jessica Gall finished the 2004 campaign in style, becoming just the eighth IU runner to earn All-America honors, as she placed 18th overall in a time of 20:52.7 at the NCAA Women's Cross Country Championship on Monday afternoon. As a team, the Hoosiers finished 30th on what was a muddy, wet and challenging course at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course hosted by Indiana State University.
"This was a great testament to Jessica perseverance and staying with it," IU women's head coach Judy Wilson said. "Jessica was hurt last season and didn't run at all. For her to perform this well is really exciting and I could not be happier."
Gall, a native of West Lafayette, Ind., got off to a fast start in the 6,000m event. She led the Hoosiers throughout the race, and was able to maintain a steady pace, despite the tough course conditions. In addition, Gall was the first Big Ten runner to complete the race.
"Jess was able to get out real fast, which is something I wanted the entire team to do," said Wilson. "I thought our second, third and fourth runners didn't get to where they needed to be. If that doesn't happen, then usually it won't be as exciting of a race which was the case for us today."
The Hoosiers were making their third consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, and finished with 700 points. The Colorado women's team staked claim to the NCAA title, finishing with 63 points - 81 points ahead of second-place Duke (144 points). Providence's Kim Smith won the individual championship with a time of 20:09.
Gall has also earned first team All-Big Ten and All-Region honors on the year, previous to garnering All-America accolades.
Sophomore Kristin Whitezell was the second Hoosier to cross the finish line, coming in at 22:37 to place 173rd. Sophomore Lindsay Hattendorf placed 213th in a time of 23:05.2, followed by senior Mindy Peterson who finished 219th in 23:11.4.
This event ends the 2004 cross country season. Wilson feels that the Hoosiers have a bright future ahead with the return of a majority of the team next season.
"We are only losing three student-athletes," said Wilson. "We have some good young athletes coming back along with several promising recruits. I am very excited for next season."
IU INDIVIDUAL FINISHERS
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