Sept. 29, 2011
Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 1 (Noon, CT) - 5K
Montrose Beach // Chicago, Ill.
The Fighting Illini women's cross country team travel to Chicago, Ill. to compete in the 39th Annual Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1 for the first time since the 2004 season. The women's 5K race will begin at Noon CT at Montrose Beach, following the grammar school, high school, and collegiate men's races. This will be the first 5K race the Illini women have competed in this season.
COACH RASMUSSEN ON THE MEET
"This is a big event, a lot bigger than what we've been competing in this season," Rasmussen said. "We need to carry some momentum from this meet as we move closer to Big Ten's. This weekend's race will give us an opportunity to race against good competition. The course presents some challenges but it's similar to how the Big Ten course will run so it'll be great practice for us moving forward. We feel very confident after our great practices last week, so I know the girls are ready to go out and compete hard."
ILLINI SET TO RUN
The Illini squad will be the largest its seen all season, with 12 athletes competing this weekend. Sophomore Meghan Frigo looks to lead Illinois for the second week after she was one of four to set new 6K personal records in the Orange and Blue meet two weeks ago. Junior Madeline Aufmann and freshman Colette Falsey are two others who have also finished first for the Illini this season. For three of the twelve runners competing on Saturday, it will be their first race of the season, including sophomore's Meghan Murphy and Michelle Stratton along with junior Courtney Yaeger.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
The field is made up of 52 collegiate teams, making it the biggest group of competitiors the Illini have faced this season. The Orange and Blue will run against three conference squads, including nationally ranked Iowa and Michigan State, along with Wisconsin. Iowa is currently ranked No. 27 in the nation and returns a wealth of upperclassman leadership while Michigan State holds the No. 19 spot after finishing as the top-ranked Big Ten team at least week's Roy Griak Invitational.
LAST TIME OUT
Illinois came in second at the Orange and Blue Preview on Friday, Sept. 16. The Illini finished with 49 points on the 6K course. The Orange and Blue were led by sophomore Meghan Frigo, for the second time in her career, with a time of 21:27. Junior Madeline Aufmann recorded her second top 10 finish with a personal-best time of 21:48. Britten Petrey was the first freshman to cross the line and third for the Illini with a time of 21:56. The Illini had four of the nine runners record new 6K personal records.
The Illini will compete next on Oct. 14, traveling to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational or Peoria, Ill., for the Bradley Classic.