News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

October 18, 2013

Oklahoma State men again the NCAA favorite

But staying on top is as hard as getting there

TERRE HAUTE — It took a great five-man pack from Wisconsin in 2011 to interrupt Oklahoma State from winning three straight NCAA men’s cross country titles at LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

The Cowboys got back to their title-winning ways last fall in Louisville, Ky., and coach Dave Smith’s team arrived Friday in Terre Haute for the Pre-Nationals as the No. 1 team in the nation.

Repeat and three-peat championships are pretty common through the sport’s history.

Oregon reiterated its 2007 team title over runner-up Iona by doing it again in 2008. The now former Ducks coach, Vin Lananna, also won repeat titles when coaching Stanford, defeating runner-up Arkansas in 1996-97. If not for Lananna’s Cardinal squads, the Razorbacks might have won an all-time best six consecutive titles under coach John McDonnell.

Regardless of all that recent history, Smith — a former Michigan State standout — appears to have a team capable of contending for a second set of repeat titles.

Four titles in five years would place the Cowboys in the discussion among the elite accomplishments in the sport’s history with programs like Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Michigan State, an eight-time winner from 1939-59.

Figuring out how to stay at the top is a fun puzzle to attempt to solve, Smith is finding.

“We’re facing different challenges. It's one thing to be the hunter. It’s another to be the hunted,” Smith said. “At the end of the year, even if you don’t win, there was something on the ladder to climb. Every year we don’t win, it's a disappointment. It’s hard to outperform our expections. The only surprise outcome can be negative.”

Smith is looking for positives today but not necessarily in the form of first place. Only two of his top seven — Craig Nowak and 2012 All-American Joe Manilafasha — are racing today as he looks to narrow 12 or 13 runners down to his top 7 to 10.

For many teams, today’s races represent a chance to earn points toward at-large berths to the NCAA championships. But since Smith figures his squad can finish top two in his region for an automatic berth, it’s a chance to develop his program’s depth.

“We’re in pretty good position. Couple guys dinged up, couple coming back from injuries,” Smith told the Tribune-Star on Friday. “It looks like a team that can challenge for a title. It’s the deepest we’ve ever had.”

Tom Farrell and Shadrack Kipchirchir, both 2012 cross country All-Americans, will not run. Neither will ShaneMoskowitz nor Kirubel Erassa. Oregon transfer Chad Noelle and veterans like Oklahoma native Taylor Monaghan, Tommy Casey and Neil Smith are hoping to prove they could be valuable members in the team’s run for a championship next month.

“Monaghan’s a guy that’s a sixth-year senior. He didn’t have eye-popping credentials out of high school. He was a 9:24 [two-miler],” Smith said. “He’s just been a little better every year.”

Edging Oregon in 2009 created a buzz that has attracted talent.

But Smith, who was still on campus in Stillwater, Okla., visiting with recruits Friday morning, said it takes more than just bringing in top-tier talent to sustain success.

“We still have up-and-down years. We’ll have a year we get everyone we want. Then a a year where you don't get anybody,” Smith said. “But we have five or six guys that are blue-collar type guys. Guys that came here, knew that they would have to earn their stripes.”

So it’s he Cowboys’ young guns and blue-collar workers looking for a strong performance and gaining valuable experience today.

“There’s only one place you can simulate the numbers, the quality of field,” Smith said. “They do a great job at Indiana State. The coaches, grounds people, even the announcer, are first-class professionals. So, Pre-nationals, it's got the atmosphere of the national championships. It’s really important for youngsters to experience it.”

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College
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  • NCAA Championships At_Pear.jpg Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs

    Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

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    June 14, 2014

  • SPT061214 ISUMBB parker.jpg New ISU coach Parker makes first impression

    Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
    Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.

    June 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final

    Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.

    June 13, 2014

  • SPT 112313 NCAA 01MASCARI.jpg Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters

    Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.

    June 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reed signs with Astros

    A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.

    June 11, 2014

  • Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title

    Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.

    June 9, 2014

  • Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft

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    June 7, 2014

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  • Metro roundup: Terre Haute’s Reed is finalist for Golden Spikes Award

    University of Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award, according to an announcement Tuesday by USA Baseball.
    Already honored as the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and as a first-team All-American, Reed was named one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, which is annually presented by USA Baseball to the nation’s top amateur player for the last 36 seasons. Reed joins Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto and LSU right-hander Aaron Nola as finalists for the award, which is selected from a committee of more than 200 voters.

    June 3, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Rex opener postponed to today

    The Terre Haute Rex grand opening has been pushed back to today due to Monday’s thunderstorms.

    June 2, 2014

  • ISU's list of NCAA track qualifier grows Saturday

    Indiana State added more athletes to its national championship roster in four different events on the final day of the NCAA Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.

    May 31, 2014

  • Terre Haute native Reed sparks Kentucky’s dramatic rally in elimination game

    Thomas Bernal dropped a two-run double down the left-field line to score the game-tying and go-ahead runs to cap a dramatic 4-2 comeback win for No. 22-ranked Kentucky over Kent State.
    Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed allowed just two runs through nine innings, and finally the Wildcats’ offense came alive. Right-handed changeup artist Nick Jensen-Clagg carried a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead.

    May 31, 2014

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