Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Photos from Butler Opener X-Country Meet, mostly of IUPUI Runners

Women's 5K race first:

View towards runners milling about the starting line in the distance.

Runners doing stride outs before the start of the race

Here they come! About 200 meters into the race just after cresting the initial rise.

Leah Brooks (L) and Valeria Guzman (R) approaching the 2K mark on the course, working as a team.

Meghan McCann (L) and Kelsey Tyler (R) running into the beginning of the 3rd kilometer, pushing each other. Coach Tony McDaniel is off the course to the left, encouraging his new freshmen runners on.

Looking toward the finish area at the bottom of this hill (a bit steeper than it looks). Runners zoom down a short hill and enter this picture from the left, driving between the two posts at the end of the channel across the field (where they started) and underneath the white timing gate.

Butler runner, Laura Riches, racing toward the finish and first place.

Maddie Westerhoff sprinting down the hill toward a 2nd place finish for Butler

Leah Brooks, racing down for a 3rd place finish to lead the Jaguars who would take 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th for a hard-fought victory..

Valeria Guzman finishing strong for a 4th place finish.

Julie Riggins, bringing it in for the Jags in 5th place.

Abby Horn, first freshman in for IUPUI, getting a crucial 7th place finish, leading a pack that broke up Butler's 4th and 5th runners.

Jordan Hanaway, IUPUI's 5th runner in today, trying to chase down Ball State's 2nd runner, Jordan Timmons. Although she did not catch Timmons, Hanaway did finish several places ahead of Butler's 5th runner.
Kelsey Tyler, IUPUI's 6th runner and 2nd freshman zooms down the hill for 11th place, also coming in ahead of Butler's 5th runner and Ball State's 3rd runner.

Summary: It would be a mistake to make too much of this opening meet. Butler kept their top runners out and IUPUI kept at least one of their top runners out. Still you only get to race against the runners in the meet and based on that, IUPUI did well and nailed down the victory. Go Jags!

Now for the Men's 6K Race.

Here they come, cresting the first rise about 200 meters into the race.
Heading out on the downhill slope, Butler on the left, Marian in the center and IUPUI on the far side.

Thundering past! Things change often in the early stages. Max Zmija, who is toward the back for IUPUI, 3rd from the left with the orange shoes, will be in the lead after they take the turn at the 1K mark and run a gritty run overall to finish in the Jags' top 3 today.
Runners in the distance have made the turn after 1K and are heading back up a gradual slope toward the camera at about 1.5K.
Coaches and other helpers and fans scurrying toward the next part of the course after runners emerge from the woods around 3K or so. Might be Ryan Cutter, IUPUI's sub 3:50 1500 meter specialist, who was held out of the meet today because of a minor injury.

Golf cart leading the runners midway through the 2nd loop of the X-Country course.

Butler's lead runner, Matt Lumbar, just crested the hill and is headed downhill around 4 K or so. He's opened a bit of a gap.
Here comes the trailing pack! Not sure who #105 is, probably a runner in there for the workout. Not listed in the results but running pretty well.

Matt Lumbar, heading down the final hill for his first place finish.
Chris O'Brien cruses down the final hill for his 2nd place finish.
Billy Thomas, Butler's 3rd runner, heading on in for 4th place. Peyton Reed, of IUPUI, was flying down the hill so fast trying to close on Butler's O'Brien for 2nd place, that I missed getting a pic.
Damon Pruett, the Jags second runner in, kicking down the hill for his 6th place finish. Pruett ran a tough race but couldn't keep up with the speed merchants over the last portion of this 'short' race. Later in the season when the races are 8K and then 10K, Pruett should be in his element.

Max Zmija, who pushed the pace from the front between 1K and 3K held on for a gritty 8th place finish. He ran well...just like his scintillating footwear suggested he would. Gotta run well when your feet are encased in electric orange and green!  :)

Mitch Huebner, looking in control as he zooms past, on his way to  a 10th place finish; I almost missed him. Finishing just ahead was the Jags' Dakota Dubbs in 9th, whom I completely missed.
Sammy Tebeje, finishing strong in 13th place. Tebeje was IUPUI's 7th runner, finishing just ahead of Butler's 5th runner. So Tebeje forced Butler's final score up by a point.

Summary: As with the women's race it is hard to discern much from this opening event. IUPUI kept their top 4 runners out and Butler did more or less the same. If we think of this as a measure of depth, Butler wins because they won the race/meet 26 to 36. On the other hand, IUPUI can pride itself on putting 7 runners in before Butler's 5th runner. But on a day when both teams load their line-up with their top runners, that would be less impressive because Butler's 5th man today would likely be their 9th runner in on such a day. So the day went slightly Butler's way, consistent with pre-season projections of Butler 4th in the region and IUPUI 11th. But both teams will look forward to their next meeting in about 3 weeks at the Indiana Intercollegiates at Purdue. More of the top runners should be running at that event although Butler may rest some of their top runners to save them for the Roy Griak Invitational the following weekend in Minnesota. IUPUI should be close to full strength for that one though.


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