Jannis Toepfer Qualifies for NCAA Championships
Nov. 15, 2013
AMES, Iowa -- The Illinois men's cross country team finished in seventh place at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, scoring 198 points. Jannis Toepfer qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight year after a third place finish, the highest finish for an Illini since Trent Hoerr won the individual crown in 2007. The Bochum, Germany native finished just three seconds behind Regional Champion Chris O'Hare (30:28), and shaved nine seconds off of his time from last year's regional meet to clock a time of 30:31.
"I think it was a great day for Jannis," said head coach Jake Stewart. "You look at the top-three guys and they all had an opportunity to win, and Jannis was right in the mix. To be in a position to win this region says a lot about where he's at with his running, and he's certainly capable of following up and doing that next week at the NCAA meet."
Ian Barnett finished second for the Illini and trimmed 35 seconds off of his 10K time to clock a personal-best 31:07. The redshirt-sophomore placed 28th, just three spots away from earning All-Region honors. Sophomore Liam Markham crossed the finish line with a time of 31:28 in the first 10K race of his career, finishing 52nd overall and third for the squad. Redshirt-freshman Will Brewster (31:42) and junior Brendan McDonnell (31:43) finished 63rd and 64th, respectively, to round out scoring for the Illini.
"As a team we're disappointed," said Stewart. "Seventh place wasn't the goal, and we were certainly capable of finishing higher than that. We did things through the course of the first 8,000 meters to allow us to run successfully, we just couldn't close the race out. We let some things get away from us over the last 2,000 meters. We have to find the consistency to be the program that we want to be. That's it for us in terms of this season, with the exception of Jannis, and now we look forward to getting ready for indoor track."
No. 3 Oklahoma State won the team title, their seventh in the last 10 years, while No. 13 Tulsa placed second. Tulsa's Chris O'Hare won the the individual crown for the second straight year.
ILLINOIS RESULTS at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regionals