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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Hoosiers' season ends at Great Lakes Invitaional

For the IU cross country team, the season came to a close after a disappointing finish at the 2015 Great Lakes Regional meet. Neither the men’s nor the women’s teams qualified for the NCAA Championship meet, as the men finished fifth and the women finished seventh.

The men had a chance to qualify as an at-large team with their finish, but because they were behind both Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan, the at-large points they had accumulated throughout the year did not matter. If the Hoosiers finished one spot higher, they likely would have qualified, IU Coach Helmer said, but they just couldn’t push the two teams ahead of them into the field of 31.

The top runner for the men was redshirt senior Rorey Hunter who finished 16th overall with a time of 31:10.4. The senior earned First Team All-Big Ten honors at the Big Ten Championship, and his performance Friday earned him All-Region honors.

“He came into the program as a middle distance runner with no experience running 10,000 meters,” Helmer said. “His recent performance shows that we can bring in middle distance runners and have a successful program.”

Redshirt junior Jason Crist (31:14.8) finished 21st and redshirt sophomore Kyle Duvall (31:20.1) finished 25th. They both received All-Regional honors. The other scorers for the Hoosiers were redshirt junior Carl Smith, who finished 34th with a time of 31:33.6, and redshirt senior Owen Skeete, who finished 45th with a time of 31:50.7.

Helmer said the women’s team had a mixed performance.

“I asked a young team to take another step forward, and they did just that,” Helmer said on the women’s team’s finish. “We were the eighth-ranked team in our region coming in, and we finished seventh.”

Helmer said he thought the women’s team had turned the corner heading into the year, but its older runners just weren’t good enough as the younger runners overtook them. He added they did a good job in the regional race of running together and packed up well.

The IU women finished seventh, with redshirt junior Amanda Behnke (20:57.7) earning All-Region honors after finishing 13th. Redshirt senior Brianna Johnson finished 38th with a time of 21:27.7, junior Chanli Mindy finished 50th with a time of 21:41.3, redshirt sophomore Catherine Cominator finished 55th with a time of 21:48.4 and freshman Haley Harris finished 62nd with a time of 21:58.1.

“We could say that our future as a program is all gloom and doom after this performance as a whole, but I choose to be more optimistic about it,” Helmer said. “I take account of who have in the program and the fact that they are the right people doing things the right way, and I’m happy with where we are.”

Helmer noted they have some strong runners coming in through recruiting, and he said this will help to grow their program further.

“Our track season can still be a phenomenal one,” Helmer said. “Many times after a disappointing cross-country season, our middle distance runners go out and have great track seasons. There’s nothing wrong with getting beat, you just have to manage the disappointment and grow.”

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