Fighting Illini Sweep Top Three at Illini Challenge
Sept. 17, 2005
Illinois women's cross country dominated the Illini "Pack-It-Up" Challenge, claiming their third consecutive title at the UI Arboretum. The Orange and Blue finished with a team score of 28 led by three Illini sophomores, who claimed the top three finishes.
"That's exactly what we wanted," head coach Karen Harvey said. "The goal was to have no jerseys in between our top three. I pushed the girls to break the 18:00 mark and was very excited that two of them pulled it off."
Maggie Carroll was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 17:46.93, breaking a personal best by 15 seconds. Carroll's first place finish was a gratifying experience for her first meet back in action after breaking her foot at the end of the 2004 indoor track season.
"Maggie deserves today's win," Harvey said. "She's at the top of her game, and its great to see her come out ready to prove something."
Katie Coppin and Rachel Hernandez finished in spots two and three, respectively. Coppin's finish shattered her previous personal best by over 84 seconds. Hernandez also established a new personal best on the 5k run. The Illini trio led the pack of runners shoulder-to-shoulder for the majority of the race.
"We train in a pack and that's where we're most comfortable," said Carroll of today's team effort. "We are constantly pushing to each to stay together because that's how you win races."
The Fighting Illini will be in action again on September 30, 2005 at the Notre Dame Invite in South Bend, Ind.