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Cross country places at event in Bloomington

Posted on 09.25.2013

The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s cross country teams competed on Sept. 20 at the Little State competition at the Indiana Intercollegiates, where the women won overall and the men finished second.
The women, who placed first out of 18 teams, were led by junior Sutton Knapp, who placed first overall with a time of 18:37.78 in the 5k. Sophomore Jacklyn Howland also placed in the top-ten with a sixth place finish time of 19:38.09. Senior Emily Bernstein rounded out the top-ten finishers for the Hounds, with a 10th place finish at 19:45.23.
For the men, who placed second to Wabash College in the 8k, junior Alex Cushman finished first overall with a time of 25:18.96. Senior Jacob Fisher finished in sixth at 26:16.12, while junior Kameron Casey rounded out the top-ten finishers for the Hounds at ninth with a time of 26:30.73.
On Sept. 14, the Greyhounds returned from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Midwest Open with third-place finishes for both the men’s and women’s teams. The women’s team placed third out of 16 teams, while the men’s team placed third out of 15 teams.
For the women, Knapp had the highest finish, placing sixth overall at 18:31.4. Bernstein followed, placing 23rd with a time of 19:09.7, while Howland placed 24th a half second later.
Knapp said she was content with her performance.
“I was really happy with how I did in the first race because I really improved my time from the year before. It was a nice boost of confidence,” she said.
Coming into the race, Knapp was eager to run again with her teammates.
“I was really excited to be running as a team again. We were really fast in workouts, and we’re excited to see what we could do,” she said.
Assistant Cross Country Coach LeAnn Nord said Head Cross Country Coach Kathy Casey was instrumental in preparing the athletes to compete at the meet.
“She [Casey] caters to everyone, sets a weekly mile limit for everyone and holds them to it. The workloads that she plans, she doesn’t let them back down,” Nord said.
The men’s team competed in the 8k, where Cushman earned the top spot for the Hounds, finishing fourth with a time of 24:58.9. Senior Craig Jordan and Fisher followed, with Jordan placing 16th at 25:50.6 and Fisher placing 18th at 25:52.4.
Like Knapp, Cushman said that he also was happy with the results.
“My performance was right where [I] needed it to be,” he said.
Besides focusing on their own personal goals, Knapp and Cushman said that they also find ways to motivate their teammates.
“We see a team that we want to beat. When we perform really well in a workout, it shows that we’re going to have a good race,” Cushman said.
Knapp said she also focuses on the workouts to prepare for the races.
“Whenever we have a really tough workout, when we have to push ourselves really hard, we have to tell ourselves, ‘That’s the hardest it’s going to get,’” she said.
However, when race time comes, Cushman and Knapp have their own unique methods of preparing themselves for the events.
“I relax and take it easy the day before and of the race,” Cushman said.
Knapp takes a different approach.
“I always try to get myself into the racing mindset. There’s a playlist I listen to on the way there,” she said.
When thinking of all the meets to come this season, Cushman has a confident outlook for this year’s teams.
“This is the season with the best chance for the girls and guys to reach nationals,” Cushman said. “We put in more work than other teams.”
Knapp has the same positive outlook.
“I’m really excited to see how the season pans out,” she said.
The Greyhounds head next to Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 5 for the Greater Louisville Classic. The start time is still to be determined.

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