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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Hoosiers look to maintain identity in preparation for Championships

Members of the men's cross country team run up a hill during the Indiana Open on Sept. 5. Both the men's and women's teams won by large margins and allowed the runners to compete for the first time this season.

“Be who we are.” That is what IU Coach Ron Helmer is preaching to his team as it travels to Evanston, Illinois, for the Big Ten 
Championship meet.

“We are talented enough and well-prepared enough to represent ourselves really well,” Helmer said. “It can be a high-pressure meet as it is championship time.”

Nine runners from the men’s and women’s teams will be running in the race. Helmer said he is running the top five runners from the Adidas Invitational and the top four runners from the Pre-Nationals meet for both the men’s and the women’s teams.

“I like the group we have, and I like the group that they have become,” Helmer said. “They have taken control of their own locker room and set goals for themselves. I like their potential and what they are starting to become.”

Helmer said the team might not have fully recognized its potential, but he said he is hoping to see another big step forward 

On the men’s side, Michigan is the favorite to win the championship, as it is the No. 5 team in the country.

Other nationally ranked teams on the men’s side include No. 19 Michigan State and No. 27 Wisconsin. IU is ranked 28th in the country but beat Wisconsin at the Adidas Invitational two weeks ago.

“We have had some 
pretty good races so far, and we are feeling good coming in,” redshirt junior Mark Chandler said. “We want to do what we are capable of as a team.”

Chandler said if the Hoosiers run well they have the potential to win.

Regardless of whether they run well, Chandler said there are some really good teams to counter their 

“We have been focused and have accepted the challenge in front of us,” 
Chandler said.

The women’s Big Ten Championship has five ranked teams, the highest being No. 2 Michigan. The others are No. 15 Penn State, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 22 Minnesota and No. 30 

“Our team has a really good shot at doing well this weekend,” freshman Maggie Allen said. “I’m excited to see what all of us can do and know that we are prepared to succeed.”

Allen said they are starting to work even better as a team in the weeks leading up to the Big Ten meet as she said they’re finishing workouts together in practice like Helmer hopes they will do in the meet.

“If we can stick together, we can get to where we want to go,” Allen said.

As a true freshman, this is the biggest meet Allen has ever raced in, but she said she isn’t too nervous.

“I am a freshman, but this isn’t a freshman meet, “Allen said. “I have to buckle down and not act like a freshmen. I am a little nervous, but it’s more of a nervous 

It is a big stage for the freshmen, but Helmer said he is confident in this group’s ability to handle the 

“Their confidence has risen,” Helmer said. “I’ve seen their relaxation level rise as well, and those two things go together well to help you in high-pressure situations.”

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