Indiana’s cross-country team raced in the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 29. Hosted by Loyola University Chicago at the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course, the Hoosiers competed against 23 schools on the women’s side and 17 schools on the men’s side.
This event marked the Hoosiers’ third and largest event of the season. This was also Indiana’s first opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the nation.
“I think this is our first time to go up against some national level teams,” Indiana head coach Eric Heins said before the race.
The men and women both finished in 11th place in their respective divisions. The men finished with 260 points while the women finished with 332 points.
No. 4 Wisconsin claimed the title on the men’s side having the top-two finishers: senior Bob Liking and fifth year Jackson Sharp. Wisconsin finished with 49 points, 60 less than the second-place team Iona University.
Yet for Indiana, there were some positive takeaways. Across all events, the Hoosiers had 15 personal bests. Graduate student Austin Haskett placed 24th in the men’s 8k, finishing with a time of 24:09.1, just .5 seconds behind his personal best of 24:08.6.
“He’s been up front for us so far this whole year,” Heins said of Haskett.
Sophomore Abe Eckman and graduate student Skylar Stidam also reeled in top 50 finishes, helping the Hoosiers to their 260-point total.
On the women’s side, senior Phoebe Bates and sophomore Clair Overfelt both placed in the top 50. Bates’ time in the women’s 6k was a new personal best for her, 10 seconds faster than her previous record of 20:52.6. Her new record stands at 20:42.6.
“Bates and Overfelt have been leading the way on the women’s side, and I don’t expect that to change,” Heins said.
Along with Bates, sophomore Tori Schmidt set a personal best, knocking 4.1 seconds off her time from 21:53.1 to 21:47.0.
Competing against multiple Big Ten teams, including Ohio State and Wisconsin on both sides and Northwestern and Michigan on the women’s side, gave the Hoosiers some perspective on where they stand when the Big Ten Tournament comes around Oct. 27. The women’s team finished behind all four other Big Ten teams and the men’s team finished between Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Indiana will enjoy its rest this weekend and then begin preparations for its next meet — the Arturo Barrios Invitationals in College Station, Texas on Oct. 17.
Hosted by Texas A&M University, Indiana will compete against many new teams including Baylor University, Oklahoma State University, Louisiana State University and Georgia Tech.
Despite the 11th place finishes, Heins is not worried about the results.
“This team enjoys working hard, and I’m excited to see what they do throughout the year,” Heins said.