Both the men and women cross country teams competed in the adidas Invitational on Friday in Madison, Wis., The men finished fifth in their 8K race, while the women ran a 6K and came in 29th.
Senior Andrew Poore led the way for the Hoosiers, finishing 23rd overall with a time of 24:13.
“I was hoping we were going to be in the top five, and we accomplished that,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “We were just solid. Nobody had a great race.”
Junior Samantha Ginther led the way for the women with her time of 21:07.
“I wasn’t happy with where our women raced,” Helmer said. “They’re much better than that. They need to have enough confidence to go into that kind of environment, and we just didn’t do a good enough job of that.
“I just think the women don’t understand how good they are and aren’t experienced enough to go and put themselves in the right position.”
The men and women were back at it Sunday in the Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute. This time, the men ran eighth, and the women finished 35th.
The Hoosiers split their teams up, running each athlete only once this weekend in an attempt to give more guys and girls the experience to finish in scoring position for the team. They also did this to save their legs from further taxing, Helmer said.
“We’re still training really hard,” Helmer said. “They’re just flat, just tired. We’re not quite fresh enough to be who I know we’re going to be once we back off a little bit.”
The plan now is for the Hoosiers to begin reducing their work load in preparation for the Big Ten Championships in two weeks. Helmer expects his team to tone down their workouts and slightly lessen their mileage, but he’s still confident in his teams’ ability to ratchet their performances up a notch when the time calls for it.
“We’re ready now to freshen up a little bit and get ready for the championship season on fresher legs and finish these races like I know we can,” he said.