Illini Finish Ninth at Big Ten Championships
Oct. 28, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Senior Courtney Yaegerled the Illini and solidified herself as one of the best cross country runners in Illinois history, as the Fighting Illini finished ninth at the Big Ten Championships at the Forest Akers East Golf Course on Sunday. The Illini posted four personal-bests including three from scoring runners.
"Courtney ran a great race," head coach Jeremy Rasmussensaid. "Her and Alyssa were right where we thought they'd be. Overall as a team its a bit disappointing. Our goal was to be in the top half of the race and we were in position three miles into the race. We lost some ground at the end. We need to pick each other up and stick together."
Yaeger, who timed 20:34, was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree for the first time in her career. Her time placed her fifth on the top-10 list in school history. Redshirt-freshman Alyssa Schneider(20:56) finished second on the team and 22nd overall, beating her 6K personal best by nearly a minute and just outside the top-10 all time at Illinois.
Freshman Amanda Fox crossed the finish line next for the squad, nearly setting a new personal-best with a time of 21:35 in her Big Ten Championships debut. Junior Katie Porada (21:38) finished fourth for the Illini, 62nd overall, improving her place at the conference meet from last year and set a new career-best time at the 6K distance. Senior Madeline Aufmann(22:11) rounded out the scoring for the team with a 82nd place finish overall.
Chloe Schmidt finished next with a 6K time of 22:18, followed by Lindsey Rakosnik who posted another Illinois personal-best with a time of 22:31. Meagan Hynes (22:41) and Rachel Irion(22:50) also competed for the Orange and Blue in their Big Ten Championships debut.
Michigan State junior Sara Kroll, who clocked a time of 20:12, won the race and edged out runner-up Mareike Schrulle (20:16) of Iowa. Michigan won the team title with 55 points, with Michigan State (75) in second followed by Penn State (96) in third.
"Courtney and Alyssa have shown that we are doing the right things, but in order for us to be the team we believe we can be, we need to get two/three people right," Rasmussen said. "We do not need to do anything out of the ordinary in the next two weeks. We just need to show up to the regional championships and be ourselves and we will do well and walk away with no disapointment."
The Illini take a week off before heading to Springfield, Mo., for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 9