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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Runners look to improve, make first bid for nationals

Cross country will face better teams at Invitational

This weekend the men's and women's cross country team will be competing in their first event of the year at the Roy Griak Invitation in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota golf course. \nThis marks the first race that will be counted toward the at-large bids for nationals. The Hoosiers said they are looking to have a good race after not finishing as strong as they would have liked to last week.\n"The Illinois course is a very fast course," women's Head coach Judy Bogenschutz said. "Some of the runners felt they went out too fast. We have to adjust some things in terms of what we do in the race."\nSophomore Becky Obrecht agrees.\n"I don't think that last weekend reflected our fitness level," Obrecht said. "Our place wasn't an indication of how good our team is. We need to run the meets like we run in practice."\nThis week's race has a strong field participating. There are many nationally ranked teams that will be there. Bogenschutz looks at this as a positive.\n"We can go out and see where we're at with those teams," she said.\nSenior Erin Womble said she liked the idea of a bigger meet.\n"There is better competition at the bigger meets," she said.\nThe race this weekend is 6K. The extra distance doesn't seem to bother the runners. Womble said the distance could only change their outlook.\n"It's an extra 1K to pass people or be passed," she said.\nObrecht said she goes out with the same approach, no matter what the distance. She said she likes longer races because she gets better as the race goes on.\nBogenschutz said she hopes this meet will help with experience.\n"Last weekend six of our top seven runners were freshmen or sophomores. There isn't too much experience in that group. Every meet is important for us to gain confidence in ourselves," she said.\nWomble said that although the younger runners don't have much experience, they understand how important the meet is. \nBogenschutz said she will look to push juniors Amanda Bell and Allyson Hammond a little more this weekend. Last weekend was their first race. Now they just need to work on their endurance, she said.\nObrecht likes the idea of competing against better competition at a bigger meet this weekend.\n"If we run a good race, we can beat some nationally ranked people and help our chances at getting to nationals," she said.\nThe men's cross-country team will also be embarking on its first big meet of the season. The men's invitational features many teams from around the country ranked in the top 25, and IU is one of them at No. 19. This meet is also the first chance for the Hoosiers to qualify for an at large bid for the NCAA Championships.\n "We're really not concerned about the fact that it is the opening race for most of our guys. If you look at the top programs in the country, very few have raced before this weekend, except for their 'B' team. We have been able to focus on training, and we're ready to roll," men's head coach Robert Chapman said.\n This focus on training will be needed, because this meet will showcase many of the best teams in the nation. Some of the programs include Providence (No. 5), Wisconsin (No. 6), Georgetown, William & Mary, Arizona, Portland, Michigan, BYU and Oregon. \n "We are ready there is excitement, yet some nervousness too because we want to do great, but nobody expects us to do that much," senior Josh Trisler said.\nThe Hoosiers could make a big statement this weekend by finishing at the top of the meet. The team feels that even a solid performance would earn the team national respect in a meet that features so many great teams. Trisler feels that this team does not get the respect of some of the other national caliber programs.\n"Teams like Michigan don't do anything that spectacular and move up five spots, because they're Michigan," he said. "We haven't ran yet and we dropped from to 19th in the polls"

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