Coming off an impressive showing at the adidas Invitational at Wisconsin on Oct. 2, the IU cross country team is back in action Saturday at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.
At the meet, the men will square off against six ranked teams, including defending champion No. 2 Oklahoma State and host No. 6 Arkansas.
Last time out at the adidas Invitational, the men’s team made a statement to the rest of the nation, winning the race against eight ranked teams, including host Wisconsin—the 11-time defending Big Ten champions. The victory helped move the men’s team to the No. 7 ranking in the nation—their highest since Nov. 2, 2004.
The No. 24 IU women will race against three other ranked teams, including No. 21 Tulsa and No. 25 Arkansas. The Hoosier women are coming off a fifth place finish at Wisconsin in a field that boasted six ranked teams.
Head coach Ron Helmer said he has preached to his team that with great results come equally high expectations, but the goal is to keep everything simple.
“Someone taught me a while back, one of the things you want to do when you have very high goals is to lower expectation,” Helmer said. “If you’re not careful, you can get so impressed with yourself and so focused on that big prize that you forget to take care of daily business. We know always that the potential for really good things happening is there, but we really need to take care of everyday and every work out.”