Women's Cross Country, Track & Field
Illini Travel to Notre Dame Invitational

Katie Porada will represent the Illini for the first time this season at the Notre Dame Invitational
Katie Porada will represent the Illini for the first time this season at the Notre Dame Invitational

Oct. 3, 2013

PreviewGet Acrobat Reader | Coach Jones Interview

Notre Dame Invitational
Friday, Oct. 4 (3:15 p.m. CT) - 5K Race
Notre Dame Golf Course // South Bend, Ind.

Meet Preview
The Fighting Illini women's cross country team will be back in action this Friday Oct. 4, when they travel to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Invitational. The 5K race will take place at 3:15 p.m. CT at the Notre Dame Golf Course.

Coach Jones on the Meet
"This will be the first time we have our full squad competing, so we're looking to race better than we have in our first two meets," said Jones. "I don't quite know where we are relative to the competition, but we certainly want to put together a much stronger team race. We were a little bit tentative at Purdue, so we want to be more aggressive. We want to get in there and see where we stand with the other teams in our region and the other Big Ten Teams."

"I think having a break has been beneficial for us," said Jones. "We've had three weeks to learn the lessons from our first two meets and put them into practice. I feel that we're much better prepared for the competition going into Notre Dame. We have a very young team and we're still learning to race with more confidence. We've been working on some things in practice that will give us the confidence that we can sustain a fast tempo from the gun. We're going to have nine terrific efforts. We're focused on putting together the best races we can individually and therefore have the team finish be as high as possible."

Illini Set to Run
Nine Illini are slated to run on Friday, with Katie Porada representing the Orange and Blue for the first time this season after racing unattached at the Illini Challenge. Stephanie Morgan will also be making her season debut, while Illini Challenge champion Alyssa Schneider, Audrey Blazek, Amanda Fox, Chloe Schmidt, Hanna Winter and Natalie Wynn compete in their third meet of the season. Britten Petrey will race in her second meet of the season after finishing sixth for the squad in her season debut.

A Look at the Competition
Illinois faces its toughest competition of the season this weekend, with seven nationally ranked teams traveling to the home course of No. 19 Notre Dame, including No. 2 Florida State, No. 4 Duke, No. 15 New Mexico, No. 20 Butler, No. 24 San Francisco, No. 28 BYU, and No. 30 Princeton. The Illini will also face Big Ten opponents Northwestern, Ohio State, and Purdue.

Last Time Out
On Sept. 13, the Orange and Blue traveled to West Lafayette Ind., the site of the 2013 Big Ten Championships, to compete in the Boilermaker Invitational. The Illini faced Big Ten competition for the first time this season, and finished fourth with 87 points. Alyssa Schneider led the squad for the second straight meet, finishing fifth overall with a 6K time 21:34. Amanda Fox finished next for the Illini, placing 13th with a time of 22:17, while Natalie Wynn (22:34) set a personal-best 6K time to place 20th. Audrey Blazek (23:05) and Hanna Winter (23:14) competed in their second collegiate meet, finishing 32nd and 38th, respectively, while Britten Petrey (23:28) placed 45th in her season debut.

Lindsey Rakosnik crossed the finish line with a time of 23:33, while Kim Seger clocked a 23:49 in her second meet as an Illini. Chloe Schmidt finished with a time of 23:55, and Michelle Frigo ran a personal-best 6K time of 23:56. Megan Lemersal (23:59), Ellie Palacios (24:03) and Valerie Bobart (24:44) gained valuable experience in their second collegiate meet.

Up Next
In two weeks, the team will split up for the Bradley Classic on Oct. 18 and Pre-Nationals on Oct. 19.