The Illini women's cross country team will host their last meet before the Big Ten Championships when they welcome three cross country teams to the Illini Open on Friday, Oct. 21. The 5K race will start at 4 p.m. CT at the UI Arboretum.
COACH RASMUSSEN ON THE MEET
"We're excited to come out and race on our home course again this Friday," Rasmussen said. "We made this race a few years ago for the sole purpose of finding out who will take the last few spots on the Big Ten roster. My biggest goal is to put five people out there and get five personal records. For us, getting another opportunity for these girls to show us who's really ready to be one of the nine girls competing for us at Big Ten's is very important. We're looking forward to getting back out there and propelling ourselves for next weekend's conference race."
ILLINI SET TO RUN
The Illini will be looking to fill the last few spots on the Big Ten roster and will therefore turn to the five runners competing in Friday's meet. After racing at the conference meet in 2009, Meghan Murphy pursues the opportunity to run in the conference meet for the second time in her career. Sophomore Megumi Hoshi and junior Meagan Hynes look to be on the Big Ten roster for the first time as both have set multiple personal bests this season. Chloe Schmidt and Michlle Stratton will also compete on Friday for a chance to run in the championship meet next week. Three track athletes will also run the course.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
The field will be smaller than what the Illini faced last week at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, with three other schools competing. Northwestern, ranked fifth in the Midwest Region is the only Big Ten program competing on Friday, while Bradley and SIU-Edwardsville are the other teams running the course.
LAST TIME OUT
At the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, sophomore Megan Frigo led the Illini for the third consecutive meet this year, as the Fighting Illini finished 44th. Frigo placed 187th and clocked a 6K time of 21:50. Following closely behind was junior Courtney Yaeger, who in her second race of the season finished second for the Illini with a time of 21:54. Sophomore Katie Porada crossed the finish line third for the Illini and 264th overall in 22:32 while senior Stacy Hague finished fourth for the Orange and Blue and 273rd overall, recording a time of 22:37. Freshman Britten Petrey (22:49) rounded out the Illini points, finishing fifth for Illinois and 273rd in the race. Freshman Colette Falsey (23:08) and junior Madeline Aufmann (24:10) also competed for the Illini.
The Orange and Blue will be home next weekend as they host the Big Ten Championships with the men's 8K race starting at 10:45 a.m. and women's 6K race starting at 11:45 a.m. For all information regarding the conference championships click here: HERE