TERRE HAUTE —
A Big Ten champion and a Missouri Valley Conference champion in the same year.
On Saturday, Zach Mayhew and John Mascari will try to make it two All-America NCAA cross country runners in the same season for Terre Haute North alumni.
Mascari will compete as one of 36 individual qualifiers in the country, while Mayhew is a veteran on an Indiana University team that’s back at the NCAA Championships, which will be in Louisville this season before returning to Terre Haute in 2013.
“We don’t really have a rivalry … He’s kind of a level above right now,” Mascari, the Indiana State freshman, said of Mayhew, a senior on the Hoosiers. “He’s definitely a guy to key off of him during the race. I can look out for him and try to hang on as long as I can.”
Mayhew has been a part of IU teams that finished seventh in the NCAA the past two years.
“I was really glad to see how well John did at regionals. He’s obviously very, very talented, I knew that he could be there but didn’t know if he would be. I was surprised and happy and excited for him. It’s cool, I think Terre Haute, we’re making ‘em proud, and I know he’ll continue to improve as the years go on.”
Mascari could view it as a no-pressure situation since he’s got three more years to return to the NCAAs, but he’s more of a seize-the-moment type of guy.
“There’s a little pressure knowing it’s the biggest cross country race in the nation collegiate-wise,” Mascari said. “The goal was just to make it. Now, I just have to have fun with it and just enjoy the experience. All-America would be nice, but if I don’t get that I’m still going to be satisfied. It’s been a memorable season.”
After winning the MVC race, Mascari kept rolling into the regional. He hoped seniors Al Escalera and Dustin Betz would also contend for an individual qualifying spot, but it was Mascari, running his first ever 10,000-meter race, who surged toward the lead pack that included Mayhew.
“It didn’t go out extremely hard. I think Al, Betz and I went out about three minutes for the first [1,000],” Mascari said. “I knew I’d have to be top 10 if I wanted to qualify so I kind of just stuck around the top 20 spot for the first couple Ks. I threw in a couple surges to get up there and hang on to a top-10 spot. For the first 10K of my life, it was a lot harder than I thought. It felt like a huge difference to me. That last 2K you just had to grind out. It was similar to LaVern [Gibson Championship Course]; it was really tough.”
Mascari spent his freshman year at IU as a redshirt and he suffered a stress fracture in his lower leg that kept out four months of the spring. He climbed back into it and was in the best shape of his life by late summer.
“John did all the right things,” McNichols said. “So disciplined through the summer, running many weeks right at 100 miles a week and sustained the training through the season. That’s one of the reason’s he’s stayed healthy. He really has a strong base, and he’s capable of really big things this weekend.”
Mascari’s first 10K race was the fourth best in ISU history, his time of 30 minutes, 56 seconds obviously his personal best. Racing not far behind defending NCAA champions from Wisconsin and individual national champions like Andy Bayer (1,500 meters for IU) is a huge development opportunity for a young runner.
McNichols observed the runners after the race discussing the outcome.
“Here’s all these veterans, guys who’ve been All-Americans saying they’ve never hurt so bad in a race,” McNichols said. “They’re racing and you’re competing, and it’s not a comfortable situation. It takes a lot of focus to keep hammering in a race like that when you’re body’s telling you to go sit down, find a soft chair somewhere.
“The more times [Mascari] goes there, as an athlete, you start to expect that and understand the feeling and you’re able to deal with it each time it comes up,” McNichols said.
Mayhew knows what McNichols is talking about having raced some of the best young distance runners in the world during his four years at IU.
The Big Ten victory and a strong run at regional have put him in good position to have his best NCAA race yet.
“There was about five guys who really went for it [at regionals],” Mayhew said. “My goal was to just get a low number for the team and make sure we got through to nationals without using too much unnecessary energy.”
As for the Big Ten victory a few weeks earlier, Mayhew had his sights on an individual title, knowing he could do it after taking the 10,000 meter title on the track last spring.
“It’s always in the back of your mind. I had won the 10K outdoors at the Big Ten meet so I knew I was capable,” Mayhew said. “At the same time, there were Olympians [like Wisconsin’s Mohammed Ahmed] and NCAA champions in my race. I knew if I made it to the last 5K with the leaders, it was anybody’s race.”
Mayhew was slightly disappointed with his outcome at LaVern Gibson last November, as he placed 72nd. He’d like to be on the award stand after the race.
“I don’t know how much better I am time wise, but confidence wise and experience I’m 10 times better. Top 40 is All-American and 25 of those get a spot on the podium. I’d like to be on that podium,” Mayhew said.
Mascari wouldn’t mind joining him. Mascari ran a school-record 8K at Tom Sawyer State Park for the Pre-Nationals Invitational. That experience at least gives him an understanding of what to expect.
“I have an idea of how it’s going to go out from Pre-Nats. Compared to Wisconsin, it’s going to be a lot faster. It’s a lot flatter,” Mascari said.
Mayhew is racing as an individual, but he’s also trying to lead an IU team to another strong finish.
“Me and Andy [Bayer] we’re our senior leadership, Nobody else had ever run in a big meet,” Mayhew said. “We have a lot of young talent. They’ve stepped up pretty well, and done a great job of keeping the tradition going.”
TERRE HAUTE —
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
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