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    Toepfer to Compete in European Cross Country Championships
    Jannis Toepfer will represent Germany in the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

    Jannis Toepfer will represent Germany in the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

    Dec. 6, 2013

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illini Jannis Toepfer will compete at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on Sunday, Dec. 8 in Belgrade, Serbia. The Bochum, Germany native will represent his home country in the Senior Men's Race, which is a distance of 10 kilometers.

    "Jannis competing for his country in a European Championships is one of the ultimate privileges for him in this sport," said Illinois cross country coach Jake Stewart. "I believe it speaks strongly to the type of career Jannis has had for the University of Illinois when the German Federation chooses him to run for them without competing in the Trials. Coming into the season, this was a goal that Jannis had in the back of his mind, and he went out and performed the way it was necessary for this goal to come to fruition. I have no doubt that this Sunday will be the first of many European Championships for Jannis."

    Although Toepfer could not attend the qualifying races held in Germany, he was chosen to compete in the event by the German Athletics Federation based on the success that he has had at Illinois. In his two years as an Illini, Toepfer is a two-time All-Big Ten performer, two-time All-Region honoree, and a two-time NCAA Cross Country Championships qualifier. He also holds the fourth-fastest 8K time in school history, which he set during the 2013 season.

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