TERRE HAUTE, Ind — On a frigid afternoon in Terre Haute, Indiana, senior Kyle Mau raced past three Wisconsin Badgers in the final stretch of the men’s 10K to take fourth place individually in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Meet.
Mau’s effort granted him entry to the 2018 NCAA Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, next Saturday. However, his performance wasn’t for himself. He said it was for his team, which on Saturday officially qualified for the national meet.
“That was definitely the goal coming here,” Mau said. “We haven’t had a team make it, at least while I’ve been here. We’re not out of it for sure. We need some good fortune, hopefully, from the rest of the regions.”
At the 8K mark, it was announced the IU men's team trailed only Wisconsin and Notre Dame in the team standings. Mau said the team has emphasized running in a pack throughout each race this season and the Hoosiers stuck to that goal.
“I think everyone today really gutted it out,“ Mau said. “We had a lot of guys who had never done a 10K before, so for them to come in with the poise that they did is really incredible. I was overall really proud of how we went out and performed today. If that doesn’t get us in, then I don’t know what more we could’ve done.”
Freshman Dustin Horter joins Mau in earning All-Region honors after a 19th-place individual finish.
They led the Hoosiers to fifth-place team finish in the meet, just three points behind fourth-place Purdue.
Junior Bryce Millar came in third for IU — 30th overall — while senior teammate Joe Murphy finished five seconds behind to take 34th place. Graduate transfer Daniel Michalski rounded out the scoring field for the Hoosiers in 37th place.
Wisconsin won the men’s 10K with Notre Dame finishing second and Michigan in third.
Despite a fifth-place performance in a regional meet that featured five nationally ranked teams, IU Coach Ron Helmer said he fears this group won’t make the National Championship meet.
“On the men’s side, I’m afraid we may come up just short,” Helmer said. “I’m thinking it was going to take fourth, but we’ll just have to see how the other regions shake out. They ran great. I don’t think the guys could have run better.”
On the women’s side, senior Maggie Allen led the No. 14 IU cross-country team with an eighth-place individual finish. Senior teammate Katherine Receveur fell to 19th by the end of the race.
“I think everyone gave it everything they had,” Allen said. “I think we have done everything we could have this season, and I’m feeling very optimistic. I feel like it’s really important to see where we’ve come from to know when we can say we have a chance to go to the National Championship meet.”
Junior Lexa Barrott was the third Hoosier to cross the finish line in 30th place. She finished three spots ahead of senior teammate Haley Harris. To end the scoring for the IU women’s team was freshman Bailey Hertenstein, who placed 47th.
Their team performance culminated in a fifth-place finish, leaving Helmer more optimistic about the women’s team’s chance to compete in the NCAA Championships than the men’s.
“I think this is still a really great cross-country team,” Helmer said. “If you look at the other regions, there are not very many regions out there we wouldn’t have qualified in, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to run at the national meet."
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be notified of their entry status Saturday. They’ll now be competing against times from every other region in the country for a spot in the National Championship.
If both teams fail to reach the final race of the season, it’ll mark the end of Allen and Receveur’s cross-country careers at IU.
“We’ve surrounded ourselves with awesome people,” Allen said. “It’s been a really fun four years. This was a really hard race today, but we all got together and it’s just a really proud moment because we trust each other so much. It’s always a heartwarming embrace.”
UPDATE - On Saturday afternoon, both the IU men's and women's teams were announced as at-large entrants into the NCAA Championships as teams.
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