The first runner to cross the finish line in the 2012 Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Sunday wore cream and crimson.
IU Senior Zach Mayhew won the individual men’s conference title with a time of 23:30 on the 8K course in East Lansing, Mich.
Mayhew’s competition included NCAA All-American Maverick Darling and 2012 Olympian Mohammed Ahmed, both running for Wisconsin, who finished second and third, respectively.
The other top-10 finisher for IU was senior Andy Bayer, who finished fourth in 23:38.
Wisconsin won the team championship by placing four runners in the top 10. Michigan came in second, and IU placed third.
Other notable Hoosier runners were junior Robby Nierman, freshman Matt Schwartzer and senior Adam Behnke. All five IU men’s runners who were scored finished in the top 30.
In the women’s Big Ten Cross Country Championship, IU finished eighth overall. Sophomore Kelsey Duerksen finished 19th overall and first for the Hoosiers.
Seniors Arianne Raby and Caitlin Engel, graduate student Molly Hirt and sophomore Molly Winters were the other top-five finishers for IU.
Duerksen’s final time was 20:54. She was followed by Raby in 30th and Engel in 41st.
Michigan won the team event with Michigan State and Penn State rounding out the top three.
IU improved on its 10th-place finish from 2011.
The next event for the men’s and women’s teams will be the Hoosier Invitational this Friday.
The competition will be at the IU Championship Cross Country Course in Bloomington.
This will be the last event of the regular season as the teams prepare for the Great Lakes regional in Madison, Wis.
The Hoosiers earned two points in the Crimson and Gold Cup by beating Purdue in both men’s and women’s events.
The Hoosiers now own a 3.5-0 lead early in the 2012-13 series after winning the cup the last two years.
— Casey Krajewski