Junior Jeremy Stevens won the Illini Challenge for the second time in his career.
Aug. 29, 2008
Urbana, Ill. - The Fighting Illini men's cross country team opened up the 2008 season at the UI Arboretum on Friday with a fourth consecutive Illini Challenge title. The Orange and Blue captured the team title with 15 points, including having the top four finishers and six out of the first seven competitors to cross the finish line. Illinois State (55), Illinois Cross Country Club (91), Robert Morris (100) and Lincoln College (132) rounded out the field.
Junior Jeremy Stevens won the 6K race with a time of 18:46.51. Stevens, who sat out the track and field season with an injury, stayed with the pack early but pulled away in the last two kilometers with his teammates.
"It was a good experience to get back out there and race again," Stevens said. "I have some goals in mind for the season and today will help my confidence to reach them."
Stevens owns the UI Arboretum 6K course record of 18:11.80, which he set competing at the Illini Challenge unattached in 2006.
"We had a solid performance today," cross country coach Wendel McRaven said. "We progressed nicely throughout the race and finished just like we wanted. It was also good to see Jeremy Stevens running strong and get the freshmen off to a strong start. "
Freshman Jim Riddle, who finished second, embodied the strength of the young Illini with a second-place finish in his first collegiate race. He crossed the line closely behind Stevens with a time of 18:47.21. Four out of the top seven finishers were members of Illinois' freshmen class, with Nate Troester (18:49.54) and Dan Kremske (18:52.15) in third and fourth.
The Illini will take two weeks off before heading to Normal, Ill., for the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships on Friday, Sept. 19.
1. Jeremy Stevens 18:46.51
2. Jim Riddle 18:47.21
3. Nate Troester 18:49.54
4. Dan Kremske 18:52.15
6.Mike Murray 18:59.91
7. Chris DeSilva 19:07.68
15. Kyle Engnell 19:39.18
16. Garrett Weaver 19:41.85
17. Ryne Beeson 19:47.90
22. Ron Revord 20:05.11
1. Illinois 15
2. Illinois State 55
3. Illinois CC Club 91
4. Robert Morris 100
5. Lincoln College 132