For the seventh straight year, the Hoosiers finished first in the 5K Championships, sweeping the leaderboard.
Each team’s top-five runners’ scores go into determining which team wins the meet, and IU had the top five times, giving it a perfect score. The Hoosiers also had eight of the top 10 times.
True freshman Hayley Harris took home the individual title with a time of 17:52.
“She is a quiet girl and just goes about her work,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “She took command in the last 2,000 meters and did not run scared.”
Last year’s winner, junior Amanda Behnke, finished fifth with a time of 18:17. The other top finishes for the women were senior Brianna Johnson (18:08), freshman Margaret Allen (18:10) and junior Chanli Mundy (18:16), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
“We are a young team, and we executed well in the race,” Helmer said.
Also, in the women’s open race, IU junior Olivia Hippensteel finished first with a time of 18:55. This race was for all runners, even those not chosen to run in the Championship race.
Helmer cautioned the results, however, and said the competition at the race was not that strong, not on the level of the competition of the elite races IU hopes to compete in later this year.
The IU men did not fare as well, as they finished third, behind both IUPUI and Indiana State. IU won the last three Intercollegiate titles, but failing to place any runners in the top five prevented it from winning this year.
The Hoosiers were ranked 10th in the nation coming into the meet but narrowly lost to IUPUI by five points and to Indiana State by two.
Redshirt senior Rorey Hunter, who did not run at the Indiana Open on Sept. 5, was IU’s top runner, finishing sixth overall with a time of 25:53.
“That’s right where he should be,” Helmer said about Hunter. “He has all the tools to be a great runner.”
Helmer said he just wants Hunter’s confidence to “permeate” the team, as he emphasized that Hunter never doubts himself.
Other redshirt seniors Joshua Roche and Owen Skeete finished eighth and ninth overall, respectively. Rounding out the Hoosiers’ top-five scorers were junior Jason Crist, who finished 10th overall, and sophomore Kyle Duvall, who finished 12th.
Helmer said the Hoosiers had eight or nine guys together, but no one really broke away and went racing at the end.
He said he believes they can be competing for a top-10 spot by the time the NCAA meet comes around, but they still have some growing to do.
“We ran well as a pack, but we didn’t have anyone to rally the pack and move them forward,” Helmer said. “We just went through the motions.”