Oct. 17, 2013
Meet Previews | Coach Jones Interview
Friday, Oct. 18 (5:05 p.m. CT) - 6K Race
Newman Golf Course // Peoria, Ill.
Saturday, Oct. 19 (11:55 a.m. CT) - 6K Race
LaVern Gibson Championship Course // Terre Haute, Ind.
The Fighting Illini women's cross country team will be back in action for a pair of meets this weekend. Seven runners will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships, for the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19, while a group of eight travel to Peoria, Ill. on Oct. 18 for the Bradley Classic.
Coach Jones on the Meets
"I'm really excited about this weekend," said Coach Jones. "On Friday we'll have a group traveling to Bradley. That will be some of our younger runners, and it will be great for them to have a competitive opportunity. Bradley has a great cross country program and they're going to put on a first-class meet. We'll have a group competing on Saturday at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational, which is one of the major competitions of the season. There will be teams from across the country so it will be great to see them and see where we stack up."
"We're climbing the ladder and we've been advancing with each competition," said Jones. "I think that growth will continue. We haven't put together a full team race yet. Everyone on the team is still growing and improving, and we're getting fitter and faster. We're continuing to work on the quality of our runs and putting together the elements of the race that will enable us to be successful at the end of the season."
Illini Set to Run
Seven Illini will compete at the Pre-National Invitational, as Alyssa Schneider, Stephanie Morgan, Amanda Fox, Katie Porada, Hanna Winter, Britten Petrey and Audrey Blazek make the trip to Terre Haute.
At the Bradley Classic, the Illini will be represented by Valerie Bobart, Michelle Frigo, Rachel Irion, Megan Lemersal, Ellie Palacios, Chloe Schmidt, Kim Seger, and Natalie Wynn.
A Look at the Competition
Illinois faces its toughest competition of the regular season at the Pre-National Invitational, as 13 of the participating teams are nationally ranked, including top-15 teams No. 2 Florida State, No. 5 Georgetown, No. 6 Oregon, No. 11 Stanford, and No. 12 Colorado. The Illini will also face Big Ten opponents No. 14 Michigan, No. 27 Penn State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, and Purdue.
Last Time Out
Two weeks ago, the Orange and Blue traveled to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Invitational. The Illini faced eight nationally ranked teams in the 24-team field and finished in 15th place. Alyssa Schneider led the squad for the third consecutive meet, finishing 17th overall with a time of 17:30. Katie Porada represented the Illini for the first time this season, and clocked a 17:42 to place 29th. Amanda Fox crossed the finish line next, placing 63rd with a time of 18:06, while Stephanie Morgan (18:47) clocked a 18:47 in her season debut. Hanna Winter (18:52) and Audrey Blazek (19:11) ran their first 5K race at the collegiate level, while Britten Petrey (19:13), Chloe Schmidt (19:21) and Natalie Wynn (19:30) rounded out the race for the Illini.
The team will close out the regular season next weekend when they host the Illinois Open on Friday, Oct. 25 at the UI Arboretum.