Members of the Indiana men’s and women’s cross country teams hope to fare well this weekend at the Indiana Intercollegiate, set to take place Friday in Terre Haute.
The Hoosiers benefit from running a familiar course, as the La Vern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course is where NCAA Nationals and high school state meets take place.
“It’s a place you need to run fast,” IU coach Ron Helmer said. “It’s not as difficult as ours, a little bit flatter, but every time you come up you have to come back down. It’s what I like about cross country, it’s always something new.”
The women come in as the highest-ranked team in the meet and will have their sights set on knocking off returning champion Purdue.
Unlike at the Indiana Open, the Hoosiers look to work in more starting runners, leaving possibly one or two out of the race.
However, just as last week proved, the younger women have the ability to step up for the team.
Senior Molly Beckwith, normally a star sprinter for the Indiana track and field team, is eyeing her first meet of the season and just the second of her career.
“I look to be consistent throughout the race,” Beckwith said. “I really don’t know what group I’ll be close to, so I’ll probably pick someone and hold on for dear life.”
As for the men, Helmer looks to work in a few more of his top runners this race as well.
Butler seems to be the team to beat as the highest-ranked in the field, but Purdue and Indiana State are not to be overlooked.
“We have a little rivalry with ISU,” sophomore Andrew Poore said. “We raced against each other in high school, and most of us know each other. It is definitely one of the most fun, relaxed races, and good for our families because it is so close.”