Bad weather alters race outcome

Official shortage causes runners to wander off course.

Due to Friday afternoon's storms, there was a lack of officials for the women's race of the Indiana Intercollegiate at Bloomington, causing some runners to inadvertently run off the course, thus changing team standings.

Nevertheless, Ball State's women managed a third-place finish with 60 points. Purdue finished on top with 33 points, followed by Indiana with 39.

"The weather was OK for the race, but some officials didn't get there because of the tornado," head coach Sue Parks said. "It did change the race. There weren't as many officials on the course and there wasn't a lead cart like there normally is. Most of our times were longer because of the mess-up."

For the second-straight race, sophomore Jill Scully led the Cardinals, finishing seventh. Senior Stacey Ritz, running for the first time this year after recovering from a leg injury, was 10th. The next five were junior Crystal Meeks (12th), sophomore Sarah Huddleston (14th), sophomore Linda Stebbins (17th), sophomore Aubrey Gaffer (28th) and senior Katie Nowak (32nd).

Rounding out the Cardinal runners were freshman Nicole Hartford (33rd), junior Lindsay Keazer (39th), sophomore Megan Curtis (50th) and senior Natasha Lothery (51st).

Parks said it was unfortunate the race wasn't run normally, but admitted some things are out of the team's control.

"Those things can happen sometimes," she said. "You can't do anything about it. We felt we had a chance at winning, but we're glad to get the race in."

She added that even though her team is not quite where it needs to be yet, there were positives to be taken from this race.

"We ran a good pack time (just 10 seconds separating the Cardinals' top five, and 1:46 separating the first and last runners) and we were running a good pack time before the mess-up. Our frontrunners were further up than the last race; that's good news. Stacey ran strong for it being her first time, and Crystal ran a real good race."


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