The women's cross country team has some big plans for the end of the season. The first goal might be met this Sunday at the Big Ten Championships in Savoy, Ill.\nLast year, the Hoosiers finished in 7th place, just 35 points out of 4th. This year's race looks to be equally as competitive with four teams ranked in the top 10 in the Great Lakes Regional.\n"It will be very close," sophomore Becky Obrecht said. "Seven teams will be near the top."\nIU will have one advantage over several other teams this weekend: they have already raced on this course earlier in the year. The runners see this as a definite help.\n"We know the course, and we know that it is going to go out at a really fast pace," junior Amanda Bell said.\nObrecht said the team's past experience will help them out.\n"It gives us a lot of confidence going into the race," she said. "We can take advantage of a course like that, because it is so fast."\nThe Hoosiers have not raced in two weeks but have used the off time to prepare. The team has cut back on their mileage. Freshman Mindy Peterson is confident that will help.\n"I think we're pretty prepared," she said. "We're really rested and ready to race."\nObrecht said the tapering of mileage will help.\n"We've been training really hard the last couple of months, but we haven't run that much mileage this week," she said. "We are fresh for this meet."\nThis race is important to IU, and not just because it is the Big Ten Championship. They are looking to go out and knock-off some people to help their chances at going to nationals.\n"This weekend is definitely vital because we need to beat teams that are ranked in other regionals," Bell said.\nIU is hoping to place three people in the top 15 and the other two runners in the top 25. They feel this will help them break into the top three.\n"We need to be third or better," Bell said. "We really can't set our sights any lower than that."\nThe Hoosiers hope that this race will help give them the momentum heading into the post-season races. Regionals will take place Nov. 10. If the team runs well there, they will have the opportunity to run at the NCAA Championship Nov. 20.\n "It's a big race," Peterson said. "It's important for our confidence and it's the Big Ten Championship." \n Obrecht also hopes that this weekend will spark the Hoosiers.\n "Hopefully we'll gain some momentum," she said. "If we have a break out race, it will give us the confidence going into regionals"
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