Indiana Daily Student

Indiana cross country seeks bounce back performance in Nuttycombe Invitational

<p>Indiana men&#x27;s cross country runners start the race at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Oct. 28, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Indiana will race in the Nuttycombe Invitational on Friday in Madison, Wisconsin.</p>

Indiana men's cross country runners start the race at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Oct. 28, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Indiana will race in the Nuttycombe Invitational on Friday in Madison, Wisconsin.

Indiana cross country competes Friday in the Nuttycombe Invitational at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin. 

The meet begins with the women’s 6K “B” race at noon followed by the men’s 8K “B” race at 12:40 p.m. The women’s 6K “A” race begins at 1:20 p.m. and the men’s 8K race concludes the invitational at 2 p.m. 

The “A” races count towards standings at the end of the season and are limited to eight runners per team, whereas the “B” races allow unlimited entries per team. Indiana runners not running in the “A” races who traveled with the team will compete in the “B” races.

Wisconsin is the host of the meet, which will be Indiana’s first outside its home state this season. The team traveled to Terre Haute and South Bend after holding their season-opening meet in Bloomington.

The last meet Indiana competed in was the Joe Piane Invitational in South Bend. Head coach Ron Helmer said the team performed poorly, with the men finishing 14th and the women 17th. In order to improve, he said the runners need to stay focused, work as a group and race like they train to succeed.

“We all know what the workouts look like, we all know what we’re capable of doing and we just didn’t do it,” Helmer said. “It’s more of reestablishing ourselves and make sure we go out and race at the level that we’ve been training and do so as a team.” 

Like Indiana’s last meet, the Nuttycombe Invitational will feature ranked teams from the Great Lakes Region as well as the nation. In the women’s race, 18 ranked teams will compete, including national No. 1 North Carolina State University and six others in the top ten. 

The men’s race has 17 ranked teams competing. Four of the competing men’s teams rank in the top ten in the nation, led by No. 3 Stanford University. Both Indiana teams enter the meet unranked in the most recent release of the coaches’ poll.

Both Indiana teams will run a similar group of runners as the previous meet, Helmer said. The men’s team will run seniors Ben Veatch, Arjun Jha, Skylar Stidam, Jake Gebhardt, Dustin Horter, junior Austin Haskett, sophomore Gabriel Sanchez and freshman Carlos Vilches Ortiz. 

The women’s team will run seniors Sarah Schmitt, Maddie Dalton, Hannah Stoffel, Ana Barrott, juniors Mikaela Ramirez and Gracie Sprankle and sophomores Mariah Wehrle and Lauryn Mick. 

The women’s team will not run senior Bailey Hertenstein, who remains out with a foot injury, Helmer said. Because they do not want to worsen or risk re-injury, the team is resting her until she is pain-free and able to train again. 

Hertenstein is a two-time All-American, finished second at the Big Ten Championships and 28th in the NCAA Championships last season. Helmer said he doesn’t know if she will compete this season.

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