Fighting Illini Trounce Competition At Pre-Regional Meet
Oct. 1, 2004
Illinois' women's cross country team dominated its first race today at the 6,000 meter Pre-Regional meet in Peoria, Ill. The Illini running on the course that will host regionals next month, boasted the top four finishers, as well runners six and seven, on their way to scoring 16 points to win the meet. Northwestern was second with 61 points, followed by Northern Illinois with 67 and host Bradley with 94.
Sophomore Cassie Hunt and senior Jaime Turilli separated themselves from the rest of the field and posted personal bests that also stand as the top-two 6K times in school history, each over 20 seconds faster than the previous best of 21:24 set by Amber Hunt in 2000. Cassie Hunt, an NCAA individual qualifier a year ago, won the race, covering the course in 21:01.71, as Turilli finished on her heels, less than three seconds behind at 21:04.10. Hunt's time established a new career best by 28 seconds, while Turilli ran an astonishing 2:37 seconds faster than her previous best time.
"Cassie and Jaime are in a class by themselves," head coach Karen Harvey said. "There is no other pair in the Big Ten that are doing what they're doing, every other team has one top runner, we have two."
Harvey continued, "Maggie (Carroll) ran an amazing race in her first race at this distance, and Rachel Hernandez blew me away with her race, she ran her tail off. Lindsey Reu also ran a great race and while Tabitha (Volling) and Stephaine (Simms) only ran okay, they were still right around their pr's, so that's encouraging."
Carroll, running a 6K race for the first time placed third with a time, 21:47.24, that stands fourth on Illinois' all-time freshman 6K list. Simms was fourth, running a personal best by five seconds at 21:57.97, while Reu was the Illini's fifth scorer after she ran the second fastest 6K time by an Illini senior, placing sixth, clocking 22:05.60.
Hernandez came in at 22:09.43 in seventh place, followed by Volling in 10th at 22:30.49, the third fastest time by a UI senior. Lisa Phillips was the Illini's final finisher, taking 13th in 22:48.24.
"I was very pleased," Harvey said. "We want to be good and I think now people will realize that Illinois is good and that we are for real."
Illinois' `B' team will run at tomorrow's Lakefront Invite in Chicago, while the Illini `A' team will be back in action next weekend at the Saluki Invite in Carbondale, Ill.
Today's Illini Results: 1. Cassie Hunt (1) 21:01 2. Jaime Turilli (2) 21:04 3. Maggie Carroll (3) 21:47 4. Stephanie Simms (4) 21:57 5. Lindsey Reu (6) 22:05 6. Rachel Hernandez (7) 22:09 7. Tabitha Volling (10) 22:30 8. Lisa Phillips (13) 22:48