Junior Jim Riddle placed 20th, leading all Illini with a personal best time of 24:17.
Oct. 31, 2010
MADISON, Wis. - The Fighting Illini men's cross country team took sixth at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday with a team total of 150 points, just nine points from a top-five finish. Junior Jim Riddle led all Illini on the Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, placing 20th overall with a personal-best 8K time of 24:17.
"Obviously we wanted to be in the upper half, that was the goal, but we're a lot closer to being where we want to be," cross country coach Wendel McRaven said. "We are better than we were last year. It was probably our best team race of the year in reality and was another step forward. We went out and came pretty close to executing almost exactly as we wanted to."
Riddle paced the Illini effort for the first time in his career and improved his conference finish by 11 spots from a year ago when he took 31st. Junior Colin Mickow finished right behind Riddle, taking 21st overall with a personal-best 8K time of 24:18. The Princeton, Ill., native finished four spots better than his 25th-place finish last year at the meet.
Sophomore Jordan Hebert, making his Big Ten Championships debut, came in 35th overall with a time of 24:35. One second later, junior Nathan Troester crossed the finish line, clocking a personal-best time of 24:36 and placing 36th, a 10-place improvement from a year ago. Junior Dan Kremske timed 24:40 and rounded out Illini scoring with 38th-place finish, up three spots for last year.
"The good thing is that every one of our scoring guys is back a year from now," McRaven said. "Were continuing to take positive steps, and we're continuing to get a little closer. We ran pretty well and got beat by five teams that ran better than us today."
Wisconsin captured the team title for the 12th year in a row with 28 points followed by Indiana (75) in second and Minnesota (101) in third. Penn State (128) and Michigan State (141) rounded out the top five. Senior Landon Peacock of Wisconsin took the individual title with an 8K time of 23:41.
The Illini will have a week off before the NCAA Midwest Regional meet in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday, Nov. 13.
1. Wisconsin 28
2. Indiana 75
3. Minnesota 101
4. Penn State 128
5. Michigan State 141
6. ILLINOIS 150
7. Ohio State 164
8. Michigan 185
9. Iowa 205
10. Purdue 212