Indiana Daily Student

Teams begin 2009 seasons at Indiana Open

After a rigorous offseason workout regimen, the IU men’s and women’s cross country teams look to put their training to the test this weekend at the Indiana Open.

The meet takes place at the IU Cross Country Course this Saturday with the women taking off at 9:30 a.m. and the men following.

“It’ll be fun to put a uniform on for the young guys,” IU coach Ron Helmersaid said. “We want to be better than we’ve been and reflect our training. It was difficult for us to train at a high level as youth, but now we are more mature.” 

The women’s team is highlighted by senior Wendi Robinson, who achieved All-American status last year at the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Nationals, finishing 28th in a field of 252 runners.

Fellow All-American Sarah Pease is looking to have a breakout year after achieving her status with a seventh place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the IU track and field team.

Helmer also has high hopes for his underclassmen, including freshmen newcomers Arianne Raby and Samantha Ginther as well as sophomore Chelsea Blanchard,who was an integral part of the team last year. 

“Last year Sarah and Wendi were strong, and people here were getting adjusted,” Blanchard said. “Now we finally have people who are going to step up. It’s going to be good.” 

High expectations await the men’s team as well, who spent much of last year in the top 25.

Former second team All-Big Ten junior Cole Hardacre will play a large role this season and the more experienced team will follow suit. Warren Central product De’Sean Turner will be expected to play a large role as well as junior Ben Hubers.

“Ben ought to be ready to run on a high level and De’Sean had a good summer,” Helmer said.

Newcomers Andy Bayer and Zach Mayhew will be called upon to step up after their summer performances, as well.

Both Hoosier teams look to make some noise both in the Big Ten and at Nationals this year, but this weekend they look to kick off the dust.

“It’s a good gauge for some of the young guys to start it off,” junior Jacob Laird said. “It’s more for them.”

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