The Hoosiers showed up at the Indiana Open ready to run, with a calm and controlled approach in preparation for bigger, more important races.
The veteran runners pulled back on the reins this weekend as they centered their attention on training. It was, however, a chance for the freshmen to run hard and showcase their talent on a cool September Saturday in Bloomington.
In the women’s race, freshman Molly Winters led the way with a time of 19:01.48. She was followed by senior Helene DeLone (19:08.99) and freshman Christine Kirby (19:13.82).
For the men, freshman John Mascari ran unattached. He pulled away from the pack at the end and finished in 26:06.11. Freshmen Kyle Overway (26:32.10) and Owen Skeete (26:52.49) — both running unattached — finished second and third, respectively.
“Molly Winters ran particularly well, and I thought (the team) ran very well,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “On the guys’ side, we knew what we were doing. We trained hard yesterday, so it was just a recovery run, and we got through it.”
The women sat their top eight runners. All the men participated but with a less-than-focused state of mind.
“We tried to take it kind of easy and use this more as a training session,” senior Andy Weatherford said. “It was a relaxed effort today.”
The Hoosiers weren’t as interested in this meet as they are in others, but it wasn’t a lack of respect for the race and its competitors, which included IU Run Club members.
“As silly as it was, they certainly weren’t trying to disrespect the sport or disrespect the competition,” Helmer said. “They were having a good time and cheering for their teammates that were out front every time they saw them — it was actually kind of cool.”
Though most of the team was content to get their mileage in, the freshmen went all out. In doing so, they left quite the impression on Weatherford and his teammates.
“The freshmen ran really well — especially running out there by themselves,” he said. “Next week, they’re going to come out here and run Intercollegiate and actually have some people to run with and chase down. We’re all really excited.”
Winters was happy and surprised by her performance in the race.
“This is kind of like a little test, and not everyone got to race it,” Winters said, “So the ones that did, we really had to show up today.”