Illini Lead The Pack At Illini Challenge
Oct. 18, 2003
Illinois' men's cross country team hosted the first annual Pack-it-Up Illini Challenge Saturday morning at the UI Arboretum in Urbana. Sophomore Jason Bill won the 8,000 meter race in a time of 25:01.29. He was followed by freshman Trent Hoerr in third, junior Kris Cunningham in seventh, sophomore Jon Houseworth in 10th and senior Adam Palumbo in 11th. This was the first meet at the Arboretum, the Illini's new home course.
"I was pleased with our effort today," Head Coach Paul Pilkington said. "Our gap from two to five was only 30 or 31 seconds and that's where we need to have it. We had people who ran through difficult things. Jason had a side stitch that was cramping on him and he still gathered himself and won the race. Trent Hoerr, with 600 meters to go was dry heaving and he still closed and almost caught the guy up front."
Bill battled Cincinnati's Andy Wietmarschen for much of the race before pulling away for the victory.
"It's good to have a home meet," Bill said. "We've got a lot of our friends here and my parents got a chance to come down, so in that respect it was definitely a good race. The course is real nice, hopefully it'll be our home course permanently."
Bill continued, "We do our hard workouts here a lot so of course that's always an advantage, just knowing the ins' and outs' of the course, but it's not too hard of a course, so it's not that much of an advantage."
"We had good races all through our top five, " Pilkington said. "Kris Cunningham ran well. Adam Palumbo, our fifth man, did a good job and Jon Houseworth had a good race too. That group of five, I was real pleased with. We still need to get our six and seven runners up there a little closer, but progress wise, their getting where they need to be."
There were no team scores for this event.
The Illini are back in action Sunday Nov. 2nd at the Big Ten Championships at East Lansing, Mich.
Today's Illinois Results: 8,000 meter course