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Young Hoosiers shine for IU cross-country at Pre-Nationals



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Then-redshirt freshman Marcus Ellington runs in the Big Ten Cross-Country Championships on Oct. 29, 2017, at the IU Cross-Country course. Sophomore Jake Gebhardt was 84th in the men’s blue race to lead seven IU runners Oct. 18 at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin. IDS file photo

With IU cross-country’s top runners in Madison, Wisconsin, for the Nuttycombe Invitational, some young Hoosiers had an opportunity to steal the spotlight at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana. Sophomore Jake Gebhardt was 84th in the men’s blue race to lead seven IU runners. Sophomore Abi Little was 28th in the women’s white race as the best of six Hoosiers.

Nine spots on both the men's and women’s teams for the Big Ten championships were up for grabs coming into this weekend. With six men and seven women running Friday at the prestigious Nuttycombe Invite, there were three men and two women’s spots to be earned in Terre Haute.

The races at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course will be the site of the national championship meets next month. 

Abi Little had the strongest performance of the day for IU with an impressive time of 21:05 in the second tier women’s race. Fellow sophomore Claire Hamilton will likely be the last Hoosier woman headed to Columbus, Ohio, for the Big Ten championships. Hamilton, running her first race in a cream and crimson jersey, placed second for IU.

Gebhardt, in the top tier men’s race, ran a time of 24:41, qualifying him for the Big Ten championship in Columbus. Junior Cooper Williams and sophomore Reese Jordan were second and third for IU. Jordan ran in the NCAA championships last year and will try to help the deep Hoosiers squad return to Terre Haute in November.

With the regular season concluded, the postseason will start with the Big Ten championships Nov. 3 in Columbus. With some young, blooming stars appearing in Terre Haute, the Hoosiers will have guaranteed depth when it matters most.

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