Sept. 1, 2010
Friday, Sept. 3 (5:30 p.m.) - 6K race
UI Arboretum // Urbana, Ill.
The Fighting Illini will host the Illini Challenge this Friday, September 3 at the UI Arboretum in Urbana. The 6K race will begin at 5:30 p.m. immediately after the women's cross country 4K race.
The Orange and Blue will be facing four other squads, including Butler, Danville Area Community College, the Illinois Cross Country Club, and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. A victory this weekend would mark the sixth consecutive year that the Illini have captured the title at the annual meet.
Coach McRaven on the Meet
"The first meet of the season is really a dress rehearsal for us. It's a chance to put on the uniform and go through the routine of being in a meet. It's also a good opportunity for them to shake off the rust a little bit. Racing is always better than a workout, and it will be great to get out in front of our home crowd."
Illini Set to Run
Eight Illini are scheduled to open the season for the Orange and Blue on Friday, while the three freshmen on the squad, Mark Donohue, Manu Kumar and Jordan Lagomarcino, will run unattached. Six juniors will provide a solid lead group for the Illini, paced by top returner and defending meet champion Colin Mickow, who is coming off a solid track season where he placed third in the Big Ten Championships in the 10,000m and second in the event at the NACAC Under-23 Championships.
Colin's twin brother Hunter, who also turned in a quality track season in 2010, will run his first cross country race in two years after redshirting the 2009 season. Hunter was the Drake champion in the 10,000m and just missed scoring in the event at the Big Ten Championships, where he clinched a berth to the NCAA Preliminary Round of Championship. Dan Kremske, last year's runner-up at the Illini Challenge, will also run along with juniors Nathan Bohne, Phil Pompei and Nathan Troester. Sophomore Jordan Hebert and redshirt freshman Drew Bell round out the list of Illini making their season debuts.
Last Year at the Challenge
Last year the Orange and Blue captured the meet title for the fifth consecutive year. 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.
The Fighting Illini take a weekend off before heading to Normal, Ill. on Friday Sept. 17 to compete in the Illinois Intercollegiate meet.