Orange and Blue Capture Eighth Consecutive Challenge Title
Aug. 31, 2012
URBANA, Ill. -- The Illinois men's cross country team opened the season with its eighth consecutive title at the Illini Challenge at the UI Arboretum on Friday. The squad had a strong first showing of the season scoring 26 points, followed by Loyola Ill. in second (57) and Lewis in third (66).
"Overall we had a solid day across the board from all of the guys," head coach Jake Stewart said. "Considering the rough weather, it was exciting the group performed the way they did. Everyone ran well at that distance. Now it's time to put it behind us and move on with the season."
Five of the top 10 finishers were wearing Orange and Blue vests, led by freshman Tommy King. King finished first for the Illini and runner-up overall in an extremely close finish with a 6K time of 18:41 followed by teammate Ian Barnett (18:46) who finished in fourth. Closely behind Barnett was freshman Sam Telfer who crossed the line in sixth with a time of 18:51 and Joe McAsey (18:55) and Paul Zeman (18:58) eighth and ninth, respectively. David Eckhart came in at 14th with a time of 19:19 and Mark Donohue placed 37th (20:30) in the season-opener.
"I was really pleased with Tommy's race, he made a really aggressive move late and I was proud of him for doing that," Stewart said. "Ian had a really good day. He is continuing to improve in leaps and bounds. Also, Sam had a great race, definitely one of the biggest surprises of the meet. It is a testament to what he did over the summer."
The Orange and Blue have next weekend off before traveling to Normal, Ill., for the Illinois Intercollegiate on Sept. 14 at 4:15 p.m.