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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Hoosiers fall short of expectations in conference championships

Three IU runners ran away from the cross country Big Ten Championships with All Big-Ten honors, while the men’s and the women’s teams found success on opposite ends of the spectrum. The men’s team finished fourth in the standings, while the women 
finished ninth.

Redshirt senior Rorey Hunter was the Hoosiers’ best runner, as he finished fourth overall with a time of 23:22.7. With his finish, Hunter was awarded First Team All-Big Ten honors for the second time in his career, the other coming in 2013. The other IU runner to get First Team status was redshirt junior Jason Crist, who finished 6th with a time of 23:33.7. Crist was also First Team in 2013.

Other top finishers for the men were redshirt senior Owen Skeete (23:54.7), who finished 15th, redshirt junior Carl Smith (24:19.0), who finished 35th, and redshirt sophomore Kyle Duvall (24:43.7), who finished 54th.

“We were very close to being a very good team,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said about the men’s team. “I’m very confident because I think we should have been second place today against a lot of high-end teams.”

Helmer said he was happy with the performance of his top four runners, especially Hunter and Crist, who he said ran like champs. The Hoosiers’ performance broke down at a few spots and that took them from second to fourth place.

“Kyle overran it a bit as he was running with Jason for a while,” Helmer said. “When Jason made a move, Kyle was left by himself and he let it get away from him. In those last 2,000 meters, he lost about 20 spots.”

Though the Hoosiers fell short of a special day, Helmer said he is still optimistic about his team, as the meet was a step in a positive direction.

On the women’s side, Helmer said he wasn’t pleased at all by the results. Redshirt junior Amanda Behnke was the Hoosiers lone bright spot as she finished 13th with a time of 20:26.2, which earned her Second Team All-Big Ten. Helmer called her one of his most consistent runners and said she always runs well.

The other top finishers were junior Chanli Mundy (21:15.8) who finished 45th, redshirt sophomore Corinne Cominator (21:16.0) who finished 46th, redshirt senior Brianna Johnson (21:35.8) who finished 59th and freshmen Haley Harris (21:38.9) who finished 61st.

“Four out of seven of our runners were freshmen,” Helmer said. “They shouldn’t have to carry the responsibility in a meet with such quality teams.”

The older girls were not able to handle the race, and that, along with the young girls not being able to help out, led to the disappointing result, Helmer said.

“We are not as bad as we showed at the meet,” Helmer said. “That group wanted to succeed badly and they were showing a lot of good things in workouts. They just weren’t able to show it on raceday.”

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