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The Indiana Daily Student

sports cross-country

Indiana cross country men place 8th, women place 11th in Big Ten Championships

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Coming off a successful performance at the Arturo Barrio Invitational on Oct. 13, expectations were high for the Indiana cross country team as it entered the postseason with the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 27. The Hoosiers traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, for the meet held at Thomas Zimmerman Cross Country Course, falling to ranked competition.

The men placed eighth in the 8k race with 207 points, falling to No. 24 Wisconsin, who won with 19 points, and No. 19 Michigan, who placed second with 63 points. The women placed 11th in the 6k race with 286 points, behind first place No. 15 Michigan State with 46 points and second place No. 22 Wisconsin with 81 points.

The Hoosiers had hoped to replicate their performance from last year's Big Ten Championships when the men placed fourth and the women fifth. This proved challenging as poor conditions resulted in slower finishes.

“We just have to be a little bit more realistic with what our goals are and be able to still compete when things aren’t good,” Indiana head coach Eric Heins said following the meet. “I think that was the biggest thing because we had a couple guys just give up and that was discouraging. When things weren’t going their way, they threw in the towel halfway through. On a muddy, rainy day that’s not going to work out too well.”

Sophomore Abe Eckman led the men with a 22nd place finish with a time of 25:01.0, followed by graduate student Austin Haskett who placed 24th with a time of 25:03.3.

For the women, freshman Lily Myers finished 54th with a time of 22:32.1. Senior Phoebe Bates placed 56th in 22:34.4, and freshman Grace Tyson placed 58th in 22:38.0. Senior Mariah Wehrle, a top competitor for the Hoosiers, did not compete due to an injury.

“On the women’s side, it was nice to see those two freshmen, Lily and Grace, give it a shot and get up there in the front,” Heins said. “We’ve been dealing with some injuries on the women’s side so we had lower finishes than we really need at a Big Ten meet like this.”

The Hoosiers will travel back to Madison to compete at the Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 10 for the opportunity to advance to the national championship. Heins said he is looking to use their performance at the Big Ten Championships as a learning experience to drive the team forward.

“These guys will respond,” Heins said. “They’ve responded all year. We had a bad race in Chicago, and they responded with a good race in Texas, and I think it’ll actually serve as motivation for them. Hopefully if we can give them another two weeks of training, they can replicate the good things at the regional meet.”

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