Oct. 17, 2013
Meet Previews | Coach Stewart Interview
Friday, Oct. 18 (4:25 p.m. CT) - 8K Race
Newman Golf Course // Peoria, Ill.
Wisconsin adidas Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 19 (11:00 a.m. CT) - 8K Race
Thomas Zimmer Championship Course // Madison, Wis.
After two weeks off, the Fighting Illini men's cross country team will be back in action at a pair of meets this weekend. The squad will be split as eight runners head to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis. on Saturday Oct. 19, and a group of seven travel to Peoria, Ill. on Oct. 18 for the Bradley Classic.
Coach Stewart on the Meets
"The meets are very different," said Coach Stewart. "Our primary group, who we feel will be running at the Big Ten and regional meets, are going to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Saturday. It's probably the best regular season meet in the country through the course of the season. There are 36 teams there, with 15-20 of those teams being nationally ranked. It's the highest level of competition we're going to see outside of the National Championships. There will be 250 people in that race, so we have to stay composed, use our check points, run off of one another and believe in our fitness. We've run well on that course before and we should be able to go and do it again.
"At the Bradley meet, I feel like our guys can go there and be very competitive and be at the front of the race," said Stewart. "It's a very good meet for some of our younger guys to go and get the collegaite experience that they haven't necessarily had yet. It's a good regional meet."
Illini Set to Run
Eight Illini will be competing in the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Jannis Toepfer, Ian Barnett, Tommy King and Paul Zeman ran in the meet last season, while Will Brewster, Liam Markham, Brendan McDonnell, and Graham Morris will see the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course for the first time.
Joe McAsey and Anthony Manfrin will make their season debuts at the Bradley Classic alongside Jereme Atchison, Ryan Burgoon, Luke Carroll, Sam Telfer, and Jon Vaccaro.
A Look at the Competition
Illinois faces its toughest competition of the regular season in Madison, Wis., as 20 of the 36 teams participating are nationally ranked, including top-10 teams No. 3 Northern Arizona, No. 5 BYU, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Portland, and No. 8 Columbia. The Orange and Blue will also face Big Ten opponents No. 12 Indiana, No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 22 Minnesota, Michigan, and Michigan State.
Last Time Out
On Oct. 4, the Illini traveled to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Invitational. The Orange and Blue faced ten nationally ranked teams in the 27-team field and finished in 12th place. Jannis Toepfer led the Illini, finishing sixth overall with a time of 24:36. Liam Markham crossed the finish line next for the squad, clocking a 24:55 to place 26th. Brendan McDonnell (25:45) and Wil Brewster (25:47) placed 95th and 100th, respectively, while Tommy King and Paul Zeman each clocked a 25:51. Sam Telfer finished with a time of 26:20, while Ian Barnett was unable to finish the race after being tripped up at the 2.25 mile mark.
The team will close out the regular season in Urbana next Friday, Oct. 25 when they host the Illinois Open at the UI Arboretum.