Indiana Daily Student

Coach seeks consistency, personal bests

With the Big Ten meet approaching, IU needs to step up, coach says

Friday and Saturday will be a gut check for the men's indoor track team. Fifteen teams will challenge the Hoosiers in their own Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse beginning at 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.\nDuring this indoor season, coach Marshall Goss said he has waited for his star athletes to perform to their capability, but the younger athletes have been more impressive. Goss said he hopes the 27th annual Indiana Invitational will bring in the talent to challenge all of his athletes, because the Big Ten Indoor Championships are approaching quickly.\n"This meet is a good indication to where we are compared to the competition," Goss said. "The Indiana Invite brings in great competition, and it will show us if we are ready to compete in the conference. We are anticipating our athletes setting career bests and breaking school records."\nTwo young Hoosiers have been surprises this season. Sophomores Matt Harris and Chris Powers have been bright spots in all three meets.\nHarris has topped his career best in each meet. \n"Hopefully, I can do even better than I've been doing," Harris said. "I just try to take it one day at a time. My focus so far has been to stay healthy, so I can hurdle more and put up the times that I need to win."\nHarris registered the second-fastest time by an IU hurdler last weekend, but don't be surprised if he creates some more fireworks at the Indiana Invitational.\n"Maybe this weekend, but I definitely believe that before the end of the season or at the indoor Big Ten Championship, I will break that record," Harris said.\nDistance coach Robert Chapman has roused the men's cross-country team out of its slumber and formed a formidable force on the track.\nAlthough this is Powers' first indoor season, he has won both his 3,000-meter races. IU will show its diversity in the distance races when Powers moves up to the 5,000-meter race this weekend. \n"It will be a good opportunity to run in the 5K this weekend because there will be a couple of rabbits in the race to keep up the pace," Powers said. "This race will be good, because instead of running after a guy as fast as I can, I'll have guys to run with so I can just cruise for two miles and then I can just push it from there and see how fast I can run the last mile. Hopefully the 3K guys will run as fast or faster than I have this year."\nOne event Goss said he expects his athletes to perform well in is the pole vault. Juniors Dino Efthimiou and Ian Curry own the first- and third-best vaults in the meet, respectively, while sixth-year senior Kris Mack recorded the second-highest jump and will participate unattached.\nAlthough the times do not show IU's distance team as the fastest runners in the meet, Powers said he believes his teammates will rise to the occasion and show their depth.\n"I'm really happy with the way the distance team is training right now," Powers said. "We all train together in a group, and I feel that we have one of the top 10 training groups in the country -- in college and out of college. We have 10 guys who you can run with day in and day out, and everybody is pushing the pace and is excited about what they are doing. Good things are just going to happen"

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