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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

IU cross-country fails to win for the first time this season at Pre-Nationals

IU cross-country failed to sweep its meets this weekend for the first time this season, and the women’s team failed to finish in the top 10.

The men’s team finished fifth at Pre-Nationals behind No. 4 Oregon, who won the meet, No. 5 Arkansas, No. 6 Colorado and No. 20 Michigan. IU managed to finish above No. 12 University of Texas at El Paso, so there is hope for No. 13 IU to climb in the rankings 
this week.

IU senior Jason Crist finished first for the Hoosiers and 31st overall. Senior Matt Schwartzer and standout freshman Ben Veatch followed closely behind, and the team managed to stay together as a pack through the race.

“I thought that the first four guys executed perfectly,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “It was a fairly conservative pace, so there were fewer people who were catching up to us. We weren’t as rested, so our fatigue caught up to us. We’ll execute better next time out, we’ve learned from our mistakes.”

Staying relatively close together as a unit was one of the major components the team has been working on this year, and the strategy paid off for the men as they still managed to place fifth overall in such a large field without a runner placing in the top 20.

“Getting fifth was certainly a solid race for us,” Helmer said. “The disappointing thing was Michigan finished before us, and we need to beat them in order to get 
better.”

On the women’s side, IU finished 15th overall and placed behind Kansas, a team it beat two weeks ago at the Rim Rock Farm Classic. Sophomores Katherine Receveur and Brenna Calder were the only two Hoosiers to finish in the top 100, as Receveur finished 11th and Calder 89th.

“Receveur ran a great race,” Helmer said. “We weren’t in position and we started off bad early on, and it was just an execution problem. We should’ve been a top-ten team in that race but we didn’t execute, and fell behind early and couldn’t come back.”

No. 2 Colorado dominated the women’s race, using lead runner Erin Finn and five finishes in the top 40 to assert its dominance at 
Pre-Nationals.

Unlike the men’s team, the IU women failed to stay together. The runners were spread out from each other, and as a result IU didn’t place as high as other races it has competed in this season.

On Friday IU competed in the Bradley Classic, which consisted of runners who weren’t in the top seven for the Hoosiers in Kansas two weeks ago.

Junior Corrine Cominator led the Hoosiers and placed 10th overall, followed by freshmen Grace Walther and Hannah Stoffel. IU finished sixth in the meet.

“It was more competitive than last year I thought,” Helmer said. “So it was interesting to watch the kids at Bradley compete with everyone else. I thought Corrine Comminator and Grace Walther competed really hard.”

On the men’s side, senior Carl Smith led the way for IU and placed 20th, followed by junior Eric Claxton and sophomore Jackson Bertoli. The Hoosiers finished seventh in a race where the only other ranked team was No. 6 Colorado.

“Carl Smith was our number one guy who looked in form since his injury he had a while back. We had a lot of people with personal records, but courses are all different, but I thought it was because it was a shorter course.”

Helmer had a lot of praise for Smith who ran his best race since his first team Big Ten performance his freshman season.

“Carl had a lot of patience and composure,” Helmer said. “He wasn’t panicked, he just kept racing and finished it up really well. He’s a veteran and he’s a stabilizing force for our team.”

Helmer said he is proud of the way his team competed and said they need to bounce back in the next meet.

“There was a lot of good teams out there on the women’s side, and on the men’s side,” Helmer said. “The teams who beat us were just better and I thought we executed perfectly.”

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