TERRE HAUTE —
The Pre-Nationals Invitational has changed but some of the top programs remain the same.
Oklahoma State, winners of three of the last four men’s NCAA cross country championships, is ranked No. 1 in the land and ready to race Saturday.
The No. 2 Colorado Buffaloes are also prepared to roam the LaVern Gibson Championship Course as 52 men’s teams will race the 8,000-meter course at the same time. It’s a change in format from when two balanced-out fields of each gender would comprise the four-race day.
It accomplishes the same goal as a NCAA Championship warm-up of sorts.
“The practical aspect of the Pre-Nationals is that we get to learn about the course,” said Colorado coach Mark Wetmore, who knows the course well having won NCAA titles in 2006 and 2004.
But those teams have long since graduated and getting this year’s runners more comfortable on the site of next month’s NCAA Championships is an excellent opportunity.
“Almost every team has new varsity members and they need to get a lay of the land, so to speak,” Wetmore said. “Also, it is the biggest meet of the year, bigger than the NCAA’s. It is an opportunity to experience that, which can be disconcerting for the new people.”
On the women’s side, defending national champion Oregon is No. 4 in the coaches’ poll, and the Ducks will a chance to test themselves against three other Top 10 squads in a 51-team field.
Coach Karen Harvey of No. 2 Florida State is hoping her Seminoles prove themselves worthy of that recognition. It’s a big weekend for many teams around the nation, with the adidas Invitational at Wisconsin featuring 16 women’s teams ranked in the top 30.
Sophomore Colleen Quigley and Hanna Walker, a junior transfer from Great Britain, led the Seminoles to a team title in Indiana just three weeks ago at Notre Dame.
“We have some horses that can run with some of the best in the NCAA. But prenationals is not our sole focus,” Harvey said. “They are fit but not as fit as they will be at ACC’s and NCAA’s. This race will prove to be a very tough test and maybe a race we get the feedback we need to finish the season with a bang.”
The adidas meet at Wisconsin includes No. 1 Providence, No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Washington and many other quality teams.
“It appears there is a good amount of talent for both meets. Pretty equal I think on the women’s side,” Harvey said. “We chose Terre Haute because I believe it’s a good idea to have a test on the national championship course.”
Georgetown women’s coach Michael Smith agrees.
“The logistics of a big meet. The size of the field, those are important things to practice before nationals,” Smith said.”
Also, the size of the field provides plenty of chance to defeat potential NCAA automatic qualifiers — a way to earn points toward an at-large berth to the championship. The size of the field will also provide quite a spectacle and a challenge for the runners to navigate even with the wide front straightaway at the Gibson Course.
“Yes the race is massive. Praying everyone stays on their feet and it's a smooth first 1km,” Harvey said. “This will be supreme test for all teams to be calm and focused in chaos.”
The No. 5 Hoya ladies are hoping to show what a solid pack can do in a large race.
“We don’t necessarily have what you call a low stick, but we have is incredible depth from our first through seven runners,” Smith said. “We may have trouble beating some team’s No. 1s, but we’ll be putting lots of people between their 2-5. We have a deep squad and most importantly for us is keeping people healthy. We’ve been able to train and compete and line up our best seven this weekend. That’ll be our goal for the weekend. It’s a great field, it’s just a loaded field. Great teams, great individuals, great athletes.”
ISU men’s coach John McNichols is excited for the race as the Sycamores get warmed up as hosts for the NCAAs for the 10th time in the past 13 years.
McNichols also has sophomore John Mascari leading a young team against elite competition. Mascari was one of the top freshman in the NCAA Championships in 2012 at Louisville.
“It’s going to be a really cool experience, 52 teams is a lot more than I’ve ever ran against,” Mascari said. “And it’s the course I’ve run on since sixth grade. There will be plenty of hometown people there rooting us on. I finished 34th in Pre-Nats last year. I’m more fit than last year. I’m just going to go out there with the front pack and hopefully something good will come out of it.”
The Sycamore women, coached by John Gartland, will also compete on their home course Saturday.
McNichols is excited to have the high-caliber events back in Terre Haute. The course is in great shape.
“The rain these last few weeks has made a huge difference in greening it up. It’s in as good a shape as it’s been,” McNichols said.
Dave Patterson of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is also excited to have the national running community in town.
“This is our last year of the Division I meets that we’re guaranteed,” Patterson said. “We want to show well. We’ve got a four-year bid cycle that we’ve all weighed in on. We want to reiterate all the positives we’ve done for the sport and consequently what the sport’s done for our community. Pre-Nationals leading to a Saturday nationals, that’s what’s exciting.”
TERRE HAUTE —
The Pre-Nationals Invitational has changed but some of the top programs remain the same.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
History in making?: Indiana, Purdue need to reverse recent trends to keep offseason hopes alive
The state’s two Big Ten schools could begin the offseason as soon as tonight, depending on how they fare in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
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.
- More College Headlines
- ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections