XC prepares for regional
The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships on Oct. 26 at Maryville University.
The Greyhound women placed fourth out of 14 teams that competed at the event and were led by junior Sutton Knapp. Knapp earned a sixth-place finish in the 6K course, posting a time of 22:06. Following closely behind Knapp for the Greyhounds were senior Emily Bernstein in 10th place, who posted a time of 22:24, and sophomore Jacklyn Howland, who finished in 19th place at 22:36.
The men’s team, led by junior Alex Cushman, placed fourth overall out of 13 teams. Cushman, who finished fifth, ended the 8K course with a time of 24:37. Senior Craig Jordan took 19th place with a time of 25:45, while junior Sean O’Brien followed with a time of 26:17. Senior Jacob Fisher rounded out the Greyhound top finishers with a time of 26:19 and a 26th-place finish.
The Greyhounds compete this Saturday at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Midwest Regional at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, at which Graduate Assistant Coach Brad Robinson said he thought the Greyhounds could do reasonably well.
“I’d like to have at least two individuals on each side go to All-Regional, which is the top 25 individuals. And then, our top guy on the team, Alex Cushman, I think it’s very realistic for him to finish in at least the top ten, or top five, and try to individually qualify for nationals,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that he is focusing on improving both teams’ times from the previous meet, with the ultimate goal of getting both the men’s and women’s teams to the top ten or within the top eight.
“[For the] time specifically on the guy’s side, Alex will have to run close to 31 minutes for the 10k,” he said. “Our next guy, [junior] Kameron Casey, will hopefully try to break 32 minutes, if it goes well. The rest of the guys from there, [in a] worst case scenario, should at least be 33 minutes.”
Robinson also laid out his goals for the women’s team.
“Our top girls are Sutton, [who] I’d like to see try to break 22 minutes—same thing for her to be at least top ten, if it goes well, and [in a] worst case scenario, top 20,” he said. “[With] our No. 2 girl, Emily Bernstein, [it] would be nice to see her break 22:15 if possible, or 22:30 [in a] worst case scenario. Hopefully, we can have at least five girls [finish] under 23 minutes. If we do that, it should be pretty realistic to have us finish [in the] top 10, [or] at least top eight overall.”
Cushman said that the men’s team is focused on what it will take to improve its previous time.
“We’re working a little bit more on our speed. We’re doing some 400 repeats this week, but we’re mostly cutting down on our mileage and taking our runs a little bit easier,” he said.
Howland said that the women’s cross country team feels that its focus needs to be on fixing the kinks.
“Most of our focus is on fine-tuning and finding more of a race strategy,” Howland said. “Our workouts are going to be more to get that fast pace and quick turnover instead of building up. We don’t need any endurance. We don’t really need to build any more base strength. We’re mostly just fine-tuning.”
Before the NCAA Midwest Regional on Saturday at Wisconsin-Parkside, the Greyhounds will travel the day before to Bloomington, Ind., for the Indiana Open on Friday, Nov. 8, at a start time yet to be determined.