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Monday, Dec. 11
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Two runners reflect on weekly award

Before the cross country season began, the enthusiasm and excitement of the season was based on the potential of both the men’s and women’s teams boasting very deep and talented rosters.

On Tuesday, two runners from the IU cross country teams, Ben Hubers and Sarah Pease, were rewarded for their accomplishments from the weekend at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. They were both named Big Ten Runners of the Week.

IU coach Ron Helmer said Pease and Hubers both helped their teams achieve second-place finishes by executing their race plans.

“Sarah and Ben both ran very well in Arkansas,” Helmer said. “It was great to see our teams run with some of the better teams in the country, and these two led the way.”

Hubers earned his first Big Ten Runner of the Week award after leading the No. 7-ranked men’s team to a second-place finish behind defending national champion Oklahoma State. Hubers finished eighth out of 470 runners with a time of 29:39 in the 10-kilometer race.

The junior has been the Hoosiers’ top finisher for three out of the four races on the season after winning both the Indiana Open and the Indiana Intercollegiate earlier this season.

As for Pease, the only senior of the men’s or women’s team, this Big Ten Runner of the Week award marks her first in cross country, as she was previously honored during the track season.

Pease won the 5-kilometer women’s race by more than ten seconds, which marked her second victory of the season, having also won the Indiana Open.

Pease said this race’s quick pace was due to the design of the course.

“We had to get out pretty hard because there were a lot of girls on the course, which narrowed down really quick, so I had to make sure that I was out in the front to stay in good position,” Pease said. “(The quick start) was a really good thing for me because I usually like to get off the line a little slower, so this was a good practice for me to be able to adjust my racing style to be ready for anything at Big Tens and Nationals.”

As the excitement from the beginning of the year has turned into results, Pease said the fact that two Hoosiers were being honored as the Runners of the Week is an indication that the program is heading in the right direction.

“I think having someone from both the men’s and women’s team win in the same week shows that we are doing the right thing here and that both teams are legitimate contenders for the Big Ten,” Pease said. “Last week, Andy Bayer won the honor, which shows that we have two solid teams that are capable of doing some pretty big things this year.”

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