Men's Cross Country, Track & Field
Orange and Blue Ready for Illinois Open

Mark Donohue is one of two who will compete at the Illinois Open on Friday.
Mark Donohue is one of two who will compete at the Illinois Open on Friday.

Oct. 18, 2012

Illinois Open
Friday, Oct. 19 (4:45 p.m.) - 8K race
UI Arboretum // Urbana, Ill.

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The Illini men's cross country team will host their last meet before the Big Ten Championships when they welcome Bradley, Eastern Illinois and Loyola (Ill.) to the Illinois Open on Friday, Oct. 19. The 8K race will start at 4:45 p.m. CT at the UI Arboretum.

"The Open is the last change for a couple of our guys to compete prior to the Championship portion of our season." Stewart said. "We haven't finalized the roster moving forward the next couple weeks, and we feel like Friday can go a long way in helping determine what group will run in East Lansing. It should be a great opportunity to get on our course one last time this year and continue to perform at the level the group has the last couple of weeks. We're excited to be home and we want to compete well."

Two runners will be competing in the Illini Open as sophomore Mark Donohue and redshirt-freshman David Eckhart look to be added onto the Big Ten roster next weekend. Eight other Illini will be running unattached, including four track athletes.

The field will be smaller than what the Illini faced last week at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, with Bradley sending five runners, several making their final collegiate cross country race. Eastern Illini will send a small contingent, as well as Loyola (Ill.) on Friday afternoon.

The Fighting Illini men's cross country team placed 24th at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational last Friday. The Orange and Blue, who faced their toughest competition of the season, beat three nationally ranked teams and finished ahead of five Big Ten squads. They were led by senior Hunter Mickow for the second consecutive week.

Mickow placed 43rd overall with an 8K time of 23:58, setting a new personal-best at the distance for the second straight week. Finishing second for the squad was Jannis Topfer, who also set a new career best 8K time of 24:13 and finished 78th overall. Running in his first collegiate 8K race, Ian Barnett finished third for the Illini and set a huge personal best time of 24:23 while teammate Tommy King scored points for the squad, finishing with a time of 24:28. Jordan Hebert rounded out the Illini scoring, crossing the line fifth for the Illini with a time of 24:35.

The Illini also had runners compete at the Bradley Classic, with unattached runner Jim Riddle winning the individual title and setting a new personal-best 8K time of 24:11. Five other runners competed unattached while Sam Telfer finished 19th overall with a new personal-best time of 24:58 and Jereme Atchison finished closely behind in 20th position. Luke Carroll (24:53) and Liam Markham (24:46) also opened up their season at the meet, both finishing in the top 14. Mark Donohue also set a career best, crossing the line with a time of 25:17.

The Orange and Blue will travel to East Lansing, Mich. for the Big Ten Championships next Sunday, Oct. 28.