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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Hoosiers compete at Big Ten Championships this weekend

The Big Ten Championships are finally upon us, and IU cross-country is in the thick of the teams competing to win this weekend in Minneapolis.

The men are ranked No. 19 in the latest national poll and are coming off a fifth-place finish at the Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago in Terre Haute, Indiana. The women come into the meet unranked and fifth in the Great Lakes Region after placing 15th at Pre-Nationals.

“We’re certainly one of the top three teams in this race on the men’s side, and on the women’s side we have a chance to be the best we’ve been in recent years,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said.

Both teams have swept all their races before the last meet at Pre-Nationals, and the women’s team has proven it can compete with the elite teams in the country as well. It finished ninth in the Big Ten 
Championships last season but will be competing this year without senior Amanda Behnke, who is out for the rest of the year with a leg injury. Behnke was the only IU women’s runner with All-Big Ten honors last season.

Sophomores Katherine Receveur and Brenna Calder have both filled the void left by Behnke by finishing in the top 10 in almost every race they have run this 
season.

The sophomore duo has managed to finish in the top two for IU in every race they have competed in thus far.

When it comes to competing in this weekend’s meet, Helmer said it is all about execution in order to win the race.

“If we can just keep good pace then I think that will give us the best chance to win,” Helmer said. “I’m really proud of the way we executed last meet, and I think we can continue that in 
Minnesota.”

On the men’s side, IU finished fourth in last season’s meet while senior Jason Crist grabbed All-Big Ten Honors for the second time in his career.

The other time was in 2013 when the Hoosiers won the Big Ten title.

Along with Crist, Helmer said he expects seniors Mark Chandler and Matt Schwartzer to compete for All-Big Ten honors.

“Our guys have a chance to be back in the hunt and possibly have a chance to win,” Helmer said. “I think we can compete with both Michigan and Wisconsin, and I don’t really see another team that can finish 
over us.”

Helmer said the team has to stay focused and not overreact to anything big during the race. He said standout freshman Ben Veatch is one of the more experienced runners for his age, and Helmer said the team can respond well from the last meet.

One of the best teams at the Big Ten Championships is Wisconsin, which is ranked No. 18.

Helmer said he thinks this meet is a great opportunity for his runners to compete against very good competition like the Badgers.

The seniors will run in their last Big Ten Championship meet this weekend, and Helmer only had great things to say about his 
veterans.

“Development is a big part of what we do, and when our kids get better every year it’s sad to see them go,” Helmer said. “This should be a fun meet for that senior group, and they really represent us in the best way 
possible.”

The Big Ten Championships will begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 30.

The meet will be aired on Big Ten Network, the first time ever for a cross-country meet.

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