Scott McClennan finished
14th Saturday at the NCAA
earning himself All-Region
Nov. 13, 1999
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's and women's cross country teams competed at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships this morning at the UI Blue Golf Course in Savoy. The men ran strong, placing fourth out of 20 teams with 155 team points. The University of Minnesota repeated as regional champions with 56 points, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Bloomington, Indiana on November 22. The University of Missouri was second with 76 points, also earning a trip to Bloomington.
"We're getting better," head coach Gary Wieneke said. "I was very pleased with the effort put forth by our guys today. They showed guts. Whether we get an at-large bid or not, we'll just have to wait and see. Something crazy might happen."
Leading the strong Illini charge was senior Scott McClennan (Ontario, Canada/ Sir Winston Churchill) who ran to a 14th place finish, covering the 10-K course in 31:17. The finish earned McClennan All-Regional honors. Joining McClennan in earning All-Regional honors was junior Mike Lucchesi (Elmhurst, Ill./ York). Lucchesi placed 16th in 31:26.
"I felt pretty good today," McClennan said. "The team ran strong. Mike (Lucchesi) was right behind me. I like to see that."
The women could not quite keep up the momentum set by the men's team. The Illini placed 13th of 25 teams with 369 team points. Kansas State University won the Regional title with 40 team points and the University of Missouri was second with 66 points. Both qualified for the NCAA Championship meet in Bloomington.
In her final collegiate cross country race, senior Tara Mendozza (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest) once again led the Illini. The senior placed 34th overall, running 18:12 over the 5-K distance. This was the ninth time in her career that Mendozza has been the top scorer for the Illini.
"I was disappointed that I didn't run a little better," Mendozza said. "I ran hard and gave it my best. I've had a good cross country career and I'll have to focus on track now."
Freshman Cecelia Williams (Elmhurst, Ill./York) finished 54th overall. Freshman Amber Hunt (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) placed 76th, senior Danielle Fonzino (Elmhurst, Ill./ York) placed 98th and freshman Lyndsey Dunnavan (Rockford, Ill./Guilford) placed 118th to complete the scoring for the Illini.
"I think we ran a little more as a team today," coach Michelle Byrne said. "Mendozza ran well. Our freshman ran great. Williams looked the most experienced out there (out of the freshman). Dunnavan is the most raw and will develop. This was a good learning experience for our younger runners."
Men's Team Results Illinois Results 1. Minnesota 56 14. Scott McClennan 31:17 2. Missouri 76 16. Mike Lucchesi 31:26 3. Oklahoma State 104 37. Justin Mitchell 31:58 4. Illinois 155 44. Jon Russell 32:14 5. Drake 188 61. Ryan Eason 32:36 106. Tim Moran 33:45 114. Jason VanSwol 34:02
Women's Team Results Illinois Results 1. Kansas State 40 34. Tara Mendozza 18:12 2. Missouri 66 54. Cecelia Williams 18:34 3. Nebraska 98 76. Amber Hunt 18:54 4. Minnesota 109 98. Danielle Fonzino 19:12 13. Illinois 369 118. Lyndsey Dunnavan 19:27 139. Lindsay Martin 19:48 142. Katie Hennessy 19:51