Women's Cross Country, Track & Field
Two Set Personal Bests at Illini Challenge

Senior Meagan Hynes set a personal-best to lead the Orange and Blue at the Illini Challenge.
Senior Meagan Hynes set a personal-best to lead the Orange and Blue at the Illini Challenge.

Aug. 31, 2012


URBANA, Ill. -- Illinois senior Meagan Hynes led the Orange and Blue as the team's top finisher with a 15th-place finish at the Illini Challenge on Friday at the UI Arboretum.

"I feel pretty good with where we're at after this meet," head coach Jeremy Rasmussen said. "We only ran five people tonight, however two ran personal bests and two were running their very first collegiate race. We also held some people out, so it's a good sign of where we can be at down the road. We will take what we learned from this meet and move on."

Hynes led the squad and finished with a personal best 4K time of 15:31. Newcomer Michelle Frigo was one of two Illini to compete in their first collegiate meet. Frigo finished second for the Orange and Blue and 22nd overall with a time of 15:43. Finishing third for the team was Michelle Stratton who crossed the line with a time of 16:12, followed closely behind by freshman Natalie Wynn who finished with a time of 16:14. Junior Rachel Irion also set a new personal best during the season opener, with a time of 16:21.

"Megan continues to get better and better," Rasmussen said. "There are still parts of her race she needs to work on, but setting personal bests each week is a great starting block. She was definitely the highlight of the day."

Olivia Pratt of Butler placed first overall with a time of 14:18 while Loyola's Alyvia Clark finished second and helped the Ramblers to the Challenge victory.

The Illini are back in action two weeks from now, when they travel to Normal, Ill., to compete at the Illinois Intercollegiate on Friday, Sept. 14.

"We are at an okay spot," Rasmussen said. "There weren't a whole lot of expectations for the first race. It was important for them to just get on the course and race. I think in two weeks we will be completely different. We will add another 10-12 runners into the mix, so it will be a whole different dynamic. That's where we will truly see where we are sitting."

15. Meagan Hynes 15:31
22. Michelle Frigo 15:43
35. Michelle Stratton 16:12
37. Natalie Wynn 16:14
41. Rachel Irion 16:21

1. Loyola 38
2. Butler 49
3. Illinois State 76
4. Lewis 117
6. Hannibal LaGrange 151
7. Illinois XC Club 173
8. Second Wind Running Club 210