Indiana Daily Student

Cross country teams to compete in two races during weekend

The IU cross country team will have its hands full this weekend competing in two separate races.

Part of the team will travel to Terre Haute to compete in Pre-Nationals at 11 a.m. Saturday.

IU Coach Ron Helmer will send runners to the adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis., on the same day. The adidas Invitational race will start at noon.

“On the women’s side, we’re sending our top seven to Wisconsin,” Helmer said. “On the men’s side, we’re a lot deeper and so the seven I am sending to Wisconsin are probably our better seven, but not necessarily our best seven.”  

Helmer said the top seven runners for the women are more distinct because the women’s team is not as deep as the men’s team. However, the men’s top seven runners have yet to be set in stone for the Hoosiers.

Because of the fact there are two races this weekend, there will be more opportunities for the men to improve their times to establish a spot in the top seven.

“The group that is going to Pre-Nationals should be a very strong group,” Helmer said. “It allows me to put more people in situations that matter, and I need to see who’s going to respond and perform with that kind of responsibility.”

Sophomore Kyle Overway will compete in the Pre-Nationals race.

Overway said he is looking forward to competing in the fast race this year and having a chance to compete against schools like Oklahoma and Colorado.  

“It’s just a really good experience for a group of guys who may have not run a race of this caliber.” Overway said. “We have a lot of young guys with our top seven going to Wisconsin. We still have a solid top five just because of the depth we have.”

This will be the fifth annual adidas Invitational.

Thirty-five men’s and 36 women’s teams will compete Saturday. Both races will consist of a men’s 8-kilometer race and a women’s 6-kilometer race.

The adidas Invitational will start with the men’s race and finish with the women’s race.

The Pre-Nationals meet will start with the men’s race and the women’s race will follow, as well. However, the Pre-Nationals race also has a men and women’s white race and open race. So there will be six total races at the Pre-Nationals meet.

Junior Brianna Johnson will compete in the adidas Invitational race.

“We’re approaching it just with the mentality of giving it our best effort,” Johnson said. “Hopefully every week we get faster and faster and the work outs have proved that’s what we’re doing, so I think we’re prepared.”

Follow reporter Frank Bonner on Twitter @Frank_Bonner1.

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