David Polaski

After blowing everyone away at the Ball State Invitational on Friday, where Ball State's top three runners set career marks in the 5K and all eight runners finished in the top 10, the runners are looking to continue improving on their times at the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill.

Assistant coach Ali Bishel said she expects some other Mid-American Conference schools to be racing and noted that Ball State finished with a similar time as Bradley, the hosts for the Classic, in the Louisville Classic two weeks ago. The teams finished about five minutes of each other, Bradley coming in 18th place and Ball State in 30th.

"Some teams are going to be better than us, some teams not as good as us, but I think we're going to fair pretty well," Bishel said. "I think our team's just really coming together despite all of our setbacks so far."

Most of those setbacks involve injuries, such as the back injury freshman Katelyn DeVries is running through. Coaches believe the injury flared up during a weight room session a few weeks ago. DeVries pushed through it to put out a career-best time at the Ball State Invitational, finishing with 18:29.70.

Bishel and the rest of the staff have kept a close eye on DeVries since the injury. Bishel said it usually doesn't bother DeVries, and it only hurts when she pushes herself hard.

"I'm praying that it's not a stress fracture," Bishel said. "It could be a muscle strain; it could be from overuse. Probably the most likely scenario was the weight room, but we aren't completely sure right now."

Bishel stressed the importance of coming out with injuries when they occur, because many runners and athletes attempt to hide injuries, feeling an obligation to help the team win.

Ball State's cross country team will run the Bradley Classic at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
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