In a year where the Nebraska men’s and women’s cross country teams have seen vast improvements under second year head coach Dave Harris, the Huskers now will travel to the talent-rich Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., on Sunday morning. The meet will open up with the men’s 8k race starting at 10:45 AM, with the women’s 6k to follow. (Approx. 11:45)
Harris hopes that both the men’s and women’s teams have their best races of the year, because it will be tough to beat teams at the ultra-competitive Big Ten Championships.
“Our mindset is that we have been challenged to beat some teams, and the only way we can do that is if our team runs their best-best race of the year.” Harris said, “I feel like the men’s team has taken some steps forward this year and is ready to compete at the Big Ten Championships for a better spot than we have been in the past. On the women’s side I am cautiously optimistic for their chances, I am hoping we can beat a couple teams and have our best races of the year.”
With freshmen and sophomores making up the majority of the team, Harris hopes that the young group of NU runners use the Big Ten Championships as a good experience builder for the future.
“I know especially on the women’s side, we are running with a lot of youth, and every time we go to a Big Ten Championship, that youth gets more experience.” Harris said, “We are still in that gaining experience mode this year.” Harris said.
Harris’s goal for the Huskers at the meet is to place five men in the top 50, something the Huskers have not done since Harris took the job two years ago. NU will definitely have a shot to do this on the men’s side, with sophomore Jacob Olson and freshman Joe Harter coming off of an impressive first and second place finish at the South Dakota Invite two weeks ago.
“If we get five guys in the top 50, I will feel like we have really competed well.” Harris said, “It is not going to be easy for our men’s team to compete this feat, but they are a bunch of young talented athletes, and I believe in them.”
Check back here at Huskers.com for race results Sunday afternoon. The men’s race starts at 10:45a.m. with the women’s race following at 11:45a.m.