Illinois Wins Intercollegiate Title
Sept. 14, 2012
Normal, Ill.. -- The Illinois women's cross country team took the team crown at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, winning the title for the first time since the 2008 season. Senior Courtney Yaeger opened up her season and led the Illini, finishing second overall and was one of 12 to set a personal-best 5K time of 17:14. With four Illini finishers in the top 10, Illinois tallied 33 points.
"It is always a good feeling to set goals and accomplish them," head coach Jeremy Rasmussen said. "We want to have that feeling at the end of the season too. Out of 15 runners, 12 of them set career-bests, so everyone did a good job."
Racing in her collegiate debut, freshman Amanda Fox finished fifth overall with a time of 17:42 and was followed closely behind by junior Katie Porada (17:44) and Alyssa Schneider (17:45) who finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Senior Madeline Aufmann crossed the line only three spots behind Schneider, and set a career-best time of 17:53 to finish 11th overall. Finishing behind Aufmann were junior Meghan Frigo (18:11) and sophomore Chloe Schmidt (18:26), finishing 16th and 21st overall, respectively.
"Amanda (Fox) did a great job," Rasmussen said. "She works really well with her teammates and really took over with the last 200m. Alyssa (Schneider) ran a really nice race. I'm looking forward to building these young runners into tougher competitors. Courtney (Yaeger) did a good job. She led a lot of the race and she's learning a lot of things during each meet. She ran a 52 second personal-record so I'm happy she's having success."
Gina Valgoi from Loyola (Ill.) took the individual title on Friday, running the 5K course in a time of 17:02.
The Illini have the next week off, but will be back in competition on Sept. 28 as the squad travels to South Bend, Ind., to run in the Notre Dame Invitational. The meet begins at 1:30 p.m. CT.
"Today gives us some confidence," Rasmussen said. "At the Notre Dame meet, there will be a tremendous amount of competition. Most of these girls aren't used to racing that type of meet, so it will be different for all of them. I'm looking forward to the next couple weeks."