MADISON, Wis. — The cream and crimson crossed the finish line for the last time this season at the NCAA Cross Country National Championship meet Saturday afternoon at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.
For seniors Maggie Allen and Katherine Receveur, who paved the way for the Hoosiers all season, this marks the end of their cross-country careers at IU.
“I really just wanted to give it my all,” Allen said. “This was my last cross-country race and I wanted to give it all for my teammates, for my coaches, for myself and for my parents — just everyone that’s believed in me since the start.”
On a snow-covered course, Allen finished first for the IU women’s team in 36th place with a time of 20:32.73, which earned her All-American Honors and led her team to a 17th place finish out of 31 teams in the national meet.
Receveur was the second Hoosier to cross the finish line for the women’s team. She finished in 20:49.01, good for 66th place. Freshman Bailey Hertenstein in 127th, junior Lexa Barrott in 134th and senior Haley Harris in 198th place rounded out the scoring field for the team.
“I thought Maggie ran an awesome race,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said. “We’ll take it. We’re going to miss those seniors, and it’s a pretty good way to finish off their senior year as a team being in the top-20 in the country.”
Michigan was the top women’s team from the Big Ten conference, finishing fourth with 213 points. The National Champions in the women’s 6k was Colorado, after they scored just 65 points in the race.
IU’s 455 points were tied with Florida, but the Hoosiers would lose the tiebreaker as the Gators took 16th place.
On the men’s side, it was junior Kyle Mau who finished first for the Hoosiers, coming in 49th place with a time of 30:08.55, just nine places away from earning All-American honors.
The rest of the Hoosier scorers finished as a pack as they all crossed the finish line within 41 seconds of each other.
“Every one of those guys were in their first national cross-country meet,” Helmer said. Our pack was probably back a little too far early on, but they just kept moving forward. I thought they recovered it really well.”
Freshman Dustin Horter finished second for the IU men’s team with a time of 30:55.26 in 129th place, followed by graduate transfer Daniel Michalski in 130th place with a time of 30:55.60.
Freshman Arjun Jha and junior Bryce Millar finalized the IU men’s scorers as they finished in 133rd and 136th place, respectively.
Northern Arizona would go on to take first place for the third consecutive year, scoring 83 points, but Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald took the individual crown on his home course, as the Wisconsin University fans roared with excitement.
IU scored 469 points to put themselves in 18th place, also out of 31 teams, and ahead of Big Ten competitors Michigan and Purdue.
“To be 17th and 18th in the country, we are what 300 or so other schools would love to be,” Helmer said. “I’m walking away from this feeling pretty satisfied that our kids did a good job, that it meant something to them and they competed hard.”
Next season the men will return five of the top-seven runners who competed in today’s race. This race was a testament to the progress the team can make next season when Mau, Horter and Jha return for another season alongside Ben Veatch, who competed in the National Meet a season ago, but was a redshirt this season.
“I’m very excited for the future,” Mau said. “The important thing about today was we got to experience what it was like to run at this kind of level and run back-to-back 10k’s. We know how much work it takes to get to this meet and what this meet is all about. I think this meet will serve as a huge stepping stone for years to come.”
The young talent will be key for this men’s team to build off their performance in today’s race. Mau said the team is excited for the upcoming runners.
Before this race, Helmer said it was a goal for both teams to finish inside the top-20. They accomplished that today to finish a memorable season for IU cross-country.
“I’m in disbelief for how lucky I am to be part of something so special,” Allen said. “I think this has been the most special team I’ve been a part of. Not only has it been so fun, but the amount of love that we have for each other, the amount of trust that we have in each other, it’s been so fun. I’m deeply upset to not be a part of this team next year.”
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