The IU men’s and women’s cross country teams each finished in first place at the Indiana Intercollegiate meet in Bloomington on Friday.
The men’s team scored 25 points; the women’s team scored 21. All the IU runners on both teams finished in the top 10.
Junior Kelsey Duerksen was the overall winner for the women’s 5-kilometer race, crossing the finish line in 17 minutes and 28 seconds.
“I was hoping to run around 17:20,” Duerksen said. “Team-wise we definitely did well.“
Junior Nolan Fife was the top runner for the Hoosiers in the men’s 8-kilometer race, crossing the finish line in 25 minutes and 10 seconds to grab third place.
Junior Rorey Hunter followed in fourth place in the pack of six IU runners. Freshman Carl Smith, sophomore Owen Skeete, junior JR Ricker and junior Evan Esselink tagged along to grab fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively.
“With the conditions, it wasn’t as fast as some of us would have liked to have run,” Fife said, “but it was a little bit faster than two weeks ago. I guess you could kind of throw time out the door with the rain.”
Friday’s meet was a chance for the Hoosiers to compete against the entire state of Indiana, measuring themselves against the competition.
Every college or university in Indiana with a cross country team was represented, with more than 750 runners making their way to Bloomington.
It was the first time IU had played host to the annual event since 2011.
Purdue finished second in both the men and women’s races. Duerksen said defeating Purdue helped IU get some momentum to start the season.
“Beating Purdue is good,” she said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
Duerksen crossed the line by herself, but senior Samantha Ginther and freshman Bethany Neeley, finished behind her for third- and fourth-place finishes. Senior Erica Ridderman finished in sixth place.
Junior Brianna Johnson and freshman Amanda Behnke crossed the line together, finishing in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
“It was a good, honest pace,” Fife said. “Coach wanted us to make sure it was an honest pace from the start. A lot of our guys were there early.”
Fife said Friday’s run showed the top five scoring runners for the men’s team are up for grabs.
“Today we established that we’ve got a lot of guys that can run in our top five,” Fife said. “Today was not the same five it was two weeks ago. There is a handful of guys that were within 10 or 15 seconds, which is exactly what we want.”
Follow reporter Frank Bonner on Twitter @Frank_Bonner1.