(Photo of Mitch Hubner and Joey Zielinsky by Sandy Whisler-Zielinski)
Coach Chuck Koeppen landed a standout group of runners for his 2012 recruiting class. The IUPUI men's cross country team graduates only two harriers, but will bring in four of the top seven runner at the Indiana State Cross Country Meet. LaPorte star Mitch Hubner who finished second to Futsum Zeinaselassie says the decision to become a Jag felt good from the start.
"When I was on my visit I spent time with the new guys and guys I had just met that day. I felt like I was a part of the team from the beginning. The coaching staff really cares about making the program better and making us better. It fit me and I am so excited for it all to come together and be awesome."
Joining him on the Jags will be St. Joseph's Joey Zielinski (4th at state), Mishawaka's Miguel Lozano (6th at state), and Noblesville's Sam Roudebush (7th at state). For Lozano who has had his share of triumphs and tribulations over his high school career the opportunity to run at the next level is something he has been waiting for. He says his relationship with Coach Koeppen was a big factor in committing to IUPUI.
"He made it clear he was interested in me from the start. I knew he had won 23 state titles at the high school level so I knew he knew what he was doing. Another thing that grabbed me was that coaching is his only job. He is with us at practice every day and even said he would bike next to us some days. Having him there daily will feel just like high school. I like having a relationship with the coaches. I find it important if you're going to succeed."
Bringing in homegrown talent Lozano believes IUPUI can be one of the top programs in the midwest in years to come. He plans to run the 5K and 10K and might even give the steeplechase a run. As for Hubner he says he's looking forward to the whole experience.
"I'm just excited to get a college education while equally having fun and doing well as part of the Jags' cross country and track team."
- Mitch's Athlete Profile
- Joey's Athlete Profile
- Miguel's Athlete Profile
- Sam's Athlete Profile
- IUPUI Men's Cross Country