Sophomore Nate Troester will make his season debut this Friday.
Sept. 16, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois men's cross country team returns from a weekend off to race at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships this Friday at 5:45 pm. The Orange and Blue are set to compete at the Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill., against a field of 21 squads.
A win this year would mark the third consecutive meet title that the Illini have captured. Last year, Illinois beat out 25 in-state competitors to take the team title. Illinois cross country coach Wendel McRaven prepares for the meet, viewing it as another dress rehearsal for races later in the season.
"We want to put in a solid effort this Friday," McRaven said. "Our efforts at this point of the season are more dedicated to making sure we stay healthy and fit come November. Every time we compete we are trying to do things better than we have before. This meet will build on our efforts at the Illini Challenge and will lead into our meet at Wisconsin in a couple of weeks."
Sophomores Nate Troester and Kyle Engnell along with redshirt junior Mike Murray will make their season debuts at the meet on Friday. Seven fellow Illini who started their seasons at the Illini Challenge two weekends ago round out the roster, including sophomores Nathan Bohne, Dan Kremske, Colin Mickow and Phil Pompei and freshmen Tom Achtien, Graham Farnsworth and Jordan Hebert. The squad looks to build on its current fitness level to prepare for bigger meets down the road.
"I expect Nate to step right in as one of our top runners. He has had a great summer and built upon that with solid training this first month back on campus," McRaven said. "Kyle and Mike are both coming off big track seasons, so we have been bringing them along slowly and watching how they adapt to training. They should both step right into the mix."
The men's 8K race is set to start at 5:45 p.m. immediately following the women's race. A full recap and results will be available on fightingillini.com after the meet.
The Orange and Blue will take a weekend off after the Illinois Intercollegiate before heading to Madison, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Inter-Regional on October 3.