Sophomore Jamie Brusa finished 7th at the Illini Challenge.
Aug. 31, 2007
Illinois sophomore Jamie Brusa helped the Fighting Illini women's cross country team and their newly-named head coach Jeremy Rasmussen kick off the 2007 season Friday night by finishing as the top Illinois runner with a time of 14:54 (7th overall), as Illinois came in third at the 4K Illini Challenge at the UI Arboretum in Urbana.
"Most of the squad started out a little quick, including Jamie," said Rasmussen. "Being an 800-meter runner and moving into a cross country race is difficult, but she competed well. As a team, we'll have to learn from our mistakes as the season progresses and continue to get better on the little parts that make up an entire race."
Freshman Stacy Hague came in second for the Orange and Blue and 15th overall, with a time of 15:13, followed by freshman Carolyn Tysse in 21st with a 15:37. Others finishing for the Illini were freshmen Rachel Wyffels (24, 15:48) and Maggie Mulchrone (26, 15:51), followed closely by sophomore Kendall Nemeth (27, 15:54).
The Illini used the first meet of the season to give their extensive roster some experience, holding back the veterans of the squad. With the pack of newcomers challenging some of the upperclassmen, Rasmussen wants to use the upcoming weeks to train hard and see how the team handles the competitive atmosphere.
"I want to use the next two weeks to train hard and see what our girls are capable of," said Rasmussen. "The big thing I want to work on is to make sure when we put our toe to the line we are the toughest team. We'll continue to work on some things, hold some runners out of competition and wait until the Notre Dame Invite to really let loose."
Jayne Grebinski of Marquette came in first overall with a time of 14:26, leading her team to the Illini Challenge crown with a total of 28 points, followed closely by Illinois State University with 31. The Illini finished third as team with Bradley rounding out the field in fourth.
Before heading to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Invite on Sept. 28 where the top seven Illini will make their 2007 season debut, the squad will make two stops along the way, including the Illinois Intercollegiate in two weeks on Sept. 14 in Normal, Ill.
Illini results: 1) Jamie Brusa (7) 14:54 2) Stacy Hague (15) 15:13 3) Carolyn Tysse (21) 15:37 4) Rachel Wyffels (24) 15:48 5) Maggie Mulchrone (26) 15:51 6) Kendall Nemeth (27) 15:54 7) Grace Lien (32) 16:22 8) Nicole Cordero (33) 16:24 9) Elizabeth Boyle (37) 16:36 10) Jackie Waldman (39) 16:38
Team results: 1) Marquette University 28 2) Illinois State University 31 3) Illinois 87 4) Bradley 97