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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Aiming for nationals

After not qualifying last year, team not taking any chances at not hitting goals

The women's cross country team sat and waited last season for a phone call. That call never came. The team was on the bubble for the NCAA national meet in Ames, Iowa. The Hoosiers finished fourth in their regional with the top two teams automatically qualifying. \nThe women's team did not get the at-large bid for which it had hoped. This year, the Hoosiers aren't worrying about an at-large bid. They plan to qualify at regionals.\n"We definitely want to make it to nationals. I think that it is very possible. We're going to be a very solid team," junior Allyson Hammond said. \nThe team hopes to advance to the NCAA meet for the first time since 1990. The Hoosiers have all scorers from the regional team returning this year and have 25 team members, almost double the number from last year. \nThe Hoosiers did not run well at the Big Ten meet last year, but head coach Judy Bogenschutz said she expects better results this year. \n"Big Ten we had a bad race. We could have been fourth. Thirty-five points separated seventh place and fourth place. That's not very much."\nSo what does Bogenschutz envision for the team this year? \n"An optimistic view is a top two in Big Ten and Regional," she said.\nIn the Big Ten and regional meets, IU will have to contend with perennial power Wisconsin. But Bogenschutz is optimistic. \n"We beat Wisconsin when I was here," she said. "And we can beat them again."\nOne setback might be injuries. Hammond is returning from an injury that kept her on the sidelines last season. Junior Amanda Bell is back after stress fractures slowed her at the end of last year. Bogenschutz is looking for other team members to step up. One is senior Erin Womble. Womble is the lone senior this year after Stephanie Magley was injured in a car crash during the summer. Bogenschutz said Womble is focused this year. \nAnother bright spot may be sophomore Becky Obrecht. Obrecht stepped in at regionals when Bell went down at the end of the year. In her first 6K race of the year and her first race in five weeks, Obrecht placed 80th and helped the Hoosiers to their fourth place finish as a team. Freshman Mindy Peterson has much potential, too, Bogenschutz said.\nThis year's nationals are in Greenville, S.C. Team members have made that their goal. But they want to make their presence known as well. \nThe team has only improved in Bogenschutz's tenure as coach. Sophomore Lauren Weddell credits her coach's attitude. \n"She has a great attitude, and that rubs off on people. It's an attitude of perseverance," Weddell said. \nThat attitude is what the team hopes will carry it all the way to Greenville. But, Weddell adds, "We don't just want to go to South Carolina. We want to be competitive"

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