Dan Kremske (left) finished second behind Colin Mickow (right), who won the 2009 Illini Challenge.
Sept. 4, 2009
URBANA, Ill. - The Illinois men's cross country team opened the season with its fifth consecutive title at the Illini Challenge at the UI Arboretum on Friday. The squad crushed the competition with only 17 points, followed by Illinois State (55), Illinois CC Club (72), SIU Edwardsville (94), Danville Area Community College (136) and Robert Morris College (160).
Cross country coach Wendel McRaven was pleased with the level of confidence the Illini displayed throughout the 6K race and sees it as a positive precursor to the upcoming season.
"The guys were very comfortable out there today and definitely set the pace for the other teams," McRaven said. "When November hits, we want race day to be a routine and today was kind of a dress rehearsal for the team. We will develop more of that team dynamic now and will prepare for November working on our fitness level and sustaining our health."
Five of the top seven finishers were clad in Orange and Blue, led by sophomore Colin Mickow. Mickow took the individual crown with a 6K time of 18:52 followed by teammates Dan Kremske (18:55) in second, Phil Pompei (19:06) in third, Tom Achtein (19:07) in fourth and Nathan Bohne (19:19) in seventh.
"We worked together as a team and kept it nice and smooth throughout the race," sophomore Dan Kremske said. "We did what we set out to do, attained our goals for the race and now we will continue to workout as a team and keep progressing as the season goes on."
The Illini have next weekend off before heading to Normal, Ill., on September 18th to compete in the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships.
1. ILLINOIS 17
2. Illinois State 55
3. Illinois CC Club 72
4. SIU - Edwardsville 94
5. Danville Area CC 136
6. Robert Morris 160