Liam Markham and the Illini look to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Nov. 14, 2013
NCAA Midwest Regional Championships
Friday, Nov. 15 (12 p.m. CT) - 10K Race
Iowa State Cross Country Course // Ames, Iowa
The Fighting Illini men's cross country team will travel to the NCAA Midwest Regionals on Friday, Nov. 15. The 10K race will begin at 12 p.m. CT.
The top two finishing teams receive an automatic berth to the NCAA National Championships, as well the top four runners who are not on a qualifying team. The NCAA Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Coach Stewart on the Meet
"Tomorrow the thing we need to focus on the most is just going out and doing the things we're capable of doing," said Coach Stewart. "We're very fit and we've been healthy. We don't have to worry about what happened last year or ten years ago, we just have to go out there and run the way we are capable of running. If we can do that, we're going to have a really good day. There's no pressure on us. All we have to do is go out and compete to the best of our ability."
The NCAA Midwest Regionals field consists of teams from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Oklahoma State leads the field, ranked No. 3 in the latest national poll, followed by No. 13 Tulsa and No. 24 Iowa State. The Illini will also face Big Ten opponents Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. The Orange and Blue have competed against seven of the 35 teams in the Midwest region, and have defeated six of them at some point this season.
Illini Set to Run
The NCAA Midwest Regionals squad consists of seven Illini, three of whom competed at the regional meet last year. Jannis Toepfer, Ian Barnett, Tommy King, Liam Markham, Will Brewster, Brendan McDonnell, and Paul Zeman will travel to Ames, Iowa for the race.
Illini at the Big Ten Championships
The Fighting Illini men's cross country team finished in fifth place at the 2013 Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Nov. 3. The squad scored 140 points, with three Illini finishing in the top-30. The Illini were led by graduate student Jannis Toepfer, who improved upon last year's ninth place finish to place sixth with a time of 24:31.6. The Bochum, Germany native earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for his efforts.
Sophomore Liam Markham placed 17th in his Big Ten Championships debut, just three spots away from earning second-team All-Big Ten honors, crossing the finish line with an 8K time of 24:47.1. Junior Brendan McDonnell finished in the top-30 in his first conference championship race, clocking a 25:08.6 to place 29th. Redshirt-sophomore Tommy King (25:24.0) and redshirt-freshman Will Brewster rounded out scoring for the Illini, placing 46th and 48th, respectively.
Redshirt-sophomore Paul Zeman (25:29.1) placed 53rd in his second conference championship, while redshirt-freshman Luke Carroll crossed the finish line in 25:24.4 to finish 66th in his Big Ten Championships debut. Redshirt-sophomore Ian Barnett (25:45.8) and Graham Morris (25:46.0) placed 69th and 70th, respectively.