Freshman Meghan Frigo led the Illini and set a personal best, leading the Illini to a third consecutive Illini Open title.
Oct. 22, 2010
URBANA, Ill. - A pair of true freshmen led Illinois at the third annual Illini Open on Friday afternoon. Nine of 11 runners set personal-best 5K times and six Illinois runners finished in the top 16, and Illinois tied with Northwestern for the meet's top spot. It was the third Illini Open win in as many tries for the Illini and cross country coach Jeremy Rasmussen.
"Ties are hard, but we did a great job today," Rasmussen said. "Obviously, the idea was to come in here and win, and `1' is next to our team score, so we can walk away with heads held high. We did an outstanding job competing. We did a great job running our races and really running strong in the second half of the race. I can't say anything better than that."
Illinois was led by freshmen Meghan Frigo and Melissa Schmidt. Frigo (18:11) and Schmidt (18:14) finished second and third, respectively, and they both beat their previous personal bests by over 45 seconds. The Illini runners are fighting for the last spots on the Big Ten Championships roster.
"It was exciting to see them near the top," Rasmussen said. "I've thought from the very start of the year that they had the capability to be on the Big Ten roster, and that's what I saw today. I saw some fight, I saw some grit, and I saw some really smart running."
Senior Maggie Mulchrone (18:32, seventh) and Madeline Aufmann (18:33, eighth) both finished in the top ten for the Illini and set personal bests. Katie Porada (18:42) and Kelsey Seiler (18:44) also posted personal bests and finished 15th and 16th, respectively, meaning the top 6 Illini finishers all set personal bests.
Meagan Hynes finished seventh for the team, followed by Mary Sullivan (19:25), Rachel Irion (19:32), Megumi Hoshi (19:38) and Michelle Stratton (20:44). Sullivan, Irion and Hoshi set personal-best 5K times.
The meet was won by Katheryn Hague, who is the older sister of Illinois junior Stacy Hague. Katheryn Hague ran a 17:36, which was a course record.
The Illini head to the Big Ten Championships next Sunday in Madison, Wis.
2. Meghan Frigo 18:11
3. Melissa Schmidt 18:14
7. Maggie Mulchrone 18:32
8. Madeline Aufmann 18:33
15. Katie Porada 18:42
16. Kelsey Seiler 18:44
22. Meagan Hynes 19:09
27. Mary Sullivan 19:25
30. Rachel Irion 19:32
32. Megumi Hoshi 19:38
54. Michelle Stratton 20:44
26. Meghan Murphy 19:22 (unattached)
1. ILLINOIS 35
1. Northwestern 35
3. Northern Kentucky 102
4. Lewis 116
5. Indianapolis 126
6. Illinois State 132
7. Bradley 188