Seniors Matt Schwartzer and Jason Crist and sophomore Katherine Receveur will advance to the NCAA Championship meet next week.
Schwartzer placed fourth and Crist sixth for the men, which led the Hoosiers to a third-place finish overall. IU tied Michigan State for second place but fell to third due to a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Hoosiers finished behind Michigan State two weeks ago in the Big Ten Championships where the Hoosiers finished third.
“I’m disappointed for the kids because they competed and prepared properly,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “To come up short, it wasn’t fair to them.”
Both teams started off the season undefeated, sweeping their first three meets. This year, the Hoosiers weren’t invited to the Wisconsin Invitational, where most teams that qualified for the NCAA Championships got their points.IU was one of many ranked teams snubbed of an at-large bid. Some meets are weighed heavier than others when it comes to qualifying for the NCAA Championships, and the Wisconsin Invitational was one of those races.
“The Wisconsin Invitational has become the meet where most teams get their points,” Helmer said. “Some of the at-large teams all ran at Wisconsin, and they got to advance. We didn’t adjust our schedule enough to chase points, but we don’t like to chase points.”
Helmer said typically a third-place finish would be enough to advance to nationals and that he is proud of how his runners competed.
On the women’s side, Receveur led the Hoosiers with a third-place finish. The next Hoosier to finish the race was sophomore Brenna Calder, who placed 38th. The team finished ninth as a whole and failed to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Helmer said he was once again proud of Receveur’s high-placed finish and that the future looks bright for both teams. He said he’s really proud of all three runners who advanced to nationals and is glad Crist and Schwartzer get to run their last races on the national stage.
“They have been consistently really, really good,” Helmer said. “They have a chance to go in and run for All-American honors. I have all the confidence in the world that they’ll go out there and get it.”
The Hoosiers haven’t made it to nationals since 2014, when they placed 15th overall. IU didn’t have any runners compete individually in last year’s race.
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