Indiana Daily Student

Teams vie in indoor play

Men hope to better Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers

The men's track team hopes to defeat defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin during this year's indoor season, but first it must challenge rival Michigan in its first meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.\nMichigan took first in five events during last week's unscored Jack Harvey Invitational. The Wolverines already have a meet under their belts, but coach Marshall Goss said his team is ready.\nIn the last 11 seasons, IU has topped Michigan five times in Big Ten championship competition, while Michigan has beaten IU four times. The squads tied in 1996 and 2000.\n"The contest between IU and Michigan has historically been one of great competition," Goss said. "Our victory under similar conditions last year was a close battle, and I expect this year to be the same. We're going into the meet in the position that we could win every event or lose every event, but we won't lose every event."\nIn the past, Michigan has beaten IU in distance events, but this year's team appears to have a chance.\nThe cross country team took 17th in the NCAA Championships last fall and beat Michigan along. Five cross country runners will try to convert to the individual style race to stop Michigan's domination of the distance races.\nJunior Kevin Chandler and sophomore Jeff Zeha will participate in the 800-meter run and will join sophomore Nathan Purcell in the mile. Freshmen Chris Powers and Chad Andrews will team with Purcell in the 3,000-meter run.\n"Michigan completely dominated us last year, taking the top four in all the distance events," Powers said. "This year it will be different because we're looking to be a top team in the Big Ten, and I'm really pumped about this season and how it will lead into a good outdoor season."\nThe Hoosiers hope to rely on current school record holders, juniors Josh Ellis and Ryan Huber and sophomore Mike Minton, to rack up points. \nAs captain and All-America candidate, Huber said he feels positive about his upcoming performance and his teammates' attitudes.\n"Practices have been a lot harder this year, so I feel like I'm in better shape even though I haven't been in any competitions," Huber said. "The first meet isn't that important because it's still early in the season, but it's good to work out all the kinks. We should be much better than last year because a lot of guys have worked harder and dedicated themselves to improving."\nWith 33 returnees from the 59-member roster and 11 returning conference point scorers from the 2000 Big Ten Championships, lack of experience should not be a problem when facing Michigan. But jumping from sixth place in the conference to catch the reigning indoor and outdoor champion Badgers will take extra effort from everyone on the team. \n"We're two guys from being back on top," Goss said. "We have a couple of guys who will help us a lot, but just need to start believing in themselves"

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