Alyssa Schneider Qualifies for NCAA Championships
Nov. 15, 2013
AMES, Iowa -- The Illinois women's cross country team finished in eighth place at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, scoring 270 points. Redshirt-sophomore Alyssa Schneider qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career after a fifth place finish, the highest finish for an Illini since Angela Bizzarri won the individual crown in 2009. The Bartlett, Ill., native shaved 31 seconds off of her 6K time to clock a personal-best 20:25, which is also the fourth-fastest 6K time in school history.
"I'm really happy and excited for Alyssa," said head coach Scott Jones. "She ran a smart and tenacious race. She put herself in a great position, and then really finished strongly in the last third of the race. She did a great job."
Sophomore Amanda Fox finished second for the Illini and 38th overall after trimming eight seconds off of her 6K time to clock a personal-best 21:25. Senior Katie Porada crossed the finish line next with a time of 21:45 to place 61st overall, while freshman Hanna Winter (21:54) finished 80th. Senior Stephanie Morgan rounded out scoring for the Illini, placing 91st with a time of 21:59.
"I thought as a team it was our best race of the year," said Jones. "We responded well to the disappointment of the Big Ten meet. We've done a great job in practice the past two weeks and came to the regional meet with a purpose. We raced really well and I was really pleased with our execution. We have girls with NCAA talent, and now I think we can start to believe in the reality of making that happen."
No. 7 Iowa State won the team title for the fourth consecutive year, while No. 16 Minnesota finished second. Iowa State's Crystal Nelson won the individual crown with a 6K time of 20:12.
ILLINOIS RESULTS at the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships