Courtney Yaeger led the Illini for the second consecutive week as the squad finished fifth at the Notre Dame Invitational.
Sept. 28, 2012
South Bend, Ind. -- The Illinois women's cross country team finished in fifth place at the Notre Dame Invitational. The 5K race in South Bend, Ind., featured five nationally ranked teams among the 18 total squads competing. Finishing first for the Illini for the second consecutive week was senior Courtney Yaeger. The reigning Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Week recipient finished sixth overall and ran a new personal best 5K time of 16:48, beating her old record set last week.
"I thought we raced well today, however we are only midway through the year," head coach Jeremy Rasmussensaid. "I'm excited to see what we can do in the next few weeks. Courtney ran a nice personal best, the fourth fastest ever from an Illinois cross country runner. She ran a really smart race, really worked her way up with about a mile left to go. I'm excited for her. She's been working really hard and it's starting to pay off."
Following Yaeger was redshirt freshman Alyssa Schneider who finished 36th overall (17:21) and was one of six Illini to set a new personal-best time. Finishing third for the Illini and 38th overall was junior Katie Porada, clocking a time of 17:22 while freshman Amanda Foxcontinued to improve her time at the 5K distance, scoring points for Illinois and finishing with a time of 17:29.
"Alyssa is continuing to learn," Rasmussen said. "She is not afraid to stick her nose in the thick of things. Her and Katie moved through the field nicely. I enjoyed watching them being aggressive."
Running in her second meet this season, senior Madeline Aufmann notched a career-best time of 17:29 and finished fifth for the Illini while redshirt junior Stephanie Morgan(17:55) opened up her season and finished seventh on the squad.
"Madeline did a good job," Rasmussen said. "She really closed down the gap a bit between the second half of girls. Overall as a team, we are continuing to mature and work on things to get better."
Junior Samantha Murphy won the open race with a time of 18:13, while two other Illinois runners finished in the top five. Meagan Hynes took fourth place with a time of 18:28 while Rachel Irionfinished fifth with a time of 18:50.
"I thought this was a nice boost of confidence for Sam," Rasmussen said. "She looked really comfortable and i'm excited to see where she can go throughout her first cross country season."
No. 2 Florida State placed first at the meet with 29 points, as four of their seven runners finished in the top 10. The Seminoles' Colleen Quigley won the race individually with a time of 16:29.
"This meet did boost our confidence," Rasmussen said. "However we still have a lot of work to do. If we want to be back at the national meet and top in the Big Ten, we have to continue to be better. We did well today, but we have a lot of work in front of us."
The Illini will have a week off to rest before they compete in both the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill., on Oct. 12 and the Pre-Nationals meet Oct. 13 in Louisville, Ky.
ILLINOIS RESULTS (Gold Race)
6. Courtney Yaeger, 16:48
36. Alyssa Schneider, 17:21
38. Katie Porada, 17:22
53. Amanda Fox, 17:29
54. Madeline Aufmann, 17:29
89. Meghan Frigo, 17:53
91. Stephanie Morgan, 17:55
102. Chloe Schmidt, 18:04 (unattached)
124. Lindsey Rakosnik, 18:29 (unattached)
TEAM RESULTS (out of 18 total)
1. Florida State 29
2. Notre Dame 111
3. New Mexico 147
4. NC State 148
5. ILLINOIS 187