Men's Cross Country, Track & Field
Illini Take Seventh Consecutive Challenge Title

Junior Jordan Hebert placed second for the Illini and third overall in the Illini Challenge.
Junior Jordan Hebert placed second for the Illini and third overall in the Illini Challenge.

Sept. 2, 2011


URBANA, Ill. - The Illinois men's cross country team opened the season with its seventh consecutive title at the Illini Challenge at the UI Arboretum on Friday. The squad had a strong first showing of the season scoring 21 points, followed by Butler University in second (62) and Purdue in third (75).

"I'm excited about winning the title for the seventh time in a row, especially having an individual winner on our home course," Illinois head coach Gavin Kennedy said. "The guys stuck to the game plan and I was glad they were able to cross the finish line happy, healthy and ready to compete again in the next meet."

Four of the top six finishers were in Orange and Blue, led by senior Chris DeSilva. DeSilva took the individual crown with a 6K time of 18:50 followed by teammates Jordan Hebert (18:56) in third Tom Achtien (18:57) in fourth and Nathan Troester (19:08) in sixth. Freshman Mark Donohue rounds out the Illini scoring with a 12th-place finish and a time of 19:32.

"For our first small meet, we ran well as a team and competed as coach Kennedy told us to," DeSilva said. "Being able to compete on our home course was great. We achieved our goals for this weekend, now we can turn our focus onto our next meet in two weeks."

Illinois had four freshmen, Paul Zeman, David Eckhart, Joe McAsey and Tommy King who ran unattached at the season-opening meet.

The Illini have next weekend off before hosting the Orange and Blue Preview on Sept. 16 at 5:15 p.m.

1. Chris DeSilva 18:50
3. Jordan Hebert 18:56
4. Tom Achtien 18:57
5. Paul Zeman (unattached) 19:02
6. Nathan Troester 19:08
7. David Eckhart (unattached) 19:10
8. Joe McAsey (unattached) 19:18
9. Tommy King (unattached) 19:19
12. Mark Donohue 19:32

2. Butler 62
3. Purdue 75
4. Illinois XC Club 82
5. Danville Community College 111
6. Hannibal LaGrange 154
7. Second Wind 187