Illinois will travel to East Lansing for the Big Ten Championships at the Forest Akers East Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 28. The 6K race will begin at 9:45 a.m. CT, immediately followed by the men's 8K race. The meet will be aired tape delayed by the Big Ten Network on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 8 a.m. CT. Jay Wilson, Eric Vetter and Kara Lentz will serve as the announcers for the broadcast.
COACH RASMUSSEN ON THE MEET
"The group which is going to Big Tens this weekend has been doing a great job. We've had some unbelievable workouts in the past couple weeks and looking really fit and ready to race. The expectation is to be in the top half of the conference. Our keys to success are to be able to compete well and look out for the other teams which we can compete with. Getting out well at the beginning of the race is super important."
Each of the 12 schools in the Big Ten will compete in the championship, making it one of the most competitive conference meets in the country. Four Big Ten squads are in the most recent USTFCCCA top-30 national rankings, led by No. 7. Penn State comes in at No. 13, followed by defending Big Ten Champions Michigan State at No. 15. No. 25 Minnesota rounds out the conference schools in the top 30. Six Big Ten teams are in the top five of their respective regions, including Michigan ranked No. 1, Michigan State No. 2 and Wisconsin No. 5 in the Great Lakes Region. Penn State is ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic region while Minnesota and Northwestern are ranked No. 3 and 4 in their respective regions.
THE RUNNING ILLINI
The Big Ten Championship squad consists of nine Illini, three of which competed in the conference meet last season in seniors Courtney Yaeger, Madeline Aufmann, and junior Katie Porada. Last year at Big Tens, the Illini finished twelfth with 351 points with then senior Stacy Hague leading the Orange and Blue and finishing 74th overall with a time of 22:04. Meagan Frigo finished second on the team and 78th overall, beating her previous finish at the conference meet last year by 11 spots while while Colette Falsey (22:21) was one of two freshmen to compete, finishing third for the Illini.
2012 Big Ten Championships Roster
Madeline Aufmann // Senior // Cary, Ill.
Set a career best 5K time for Illinois in season debut with a time of 17:53, helping the Illini win Illinois Intercollegiate title ... Scored points for Illinois, finishing fifth for the Illini at the Notre Dame Invitational, with a 5K personal best time of 17:29 ... Nearly set a 6k personal best in Pre-Nationals' red race with a time of 21:50, coming in fourth for the Illini.
Amanda Fox // Freshman // Naperville, Ill.
Has finished among top-four Illini in all three races run this year ... In her college debut, with a 5K time of 17:42, finished 5th overall and 2nd among her Illini teamates to help Illinois to win the Illinois Intercollegiate title ... Scored points at the Notre Dame Invitaional, finishing fourth for the Illini and recorded a career best 5K time of 17:29 ... Came in second for the Illini and 98th overall at Pre-Nationals, ran a 6K time of 21:33.
Meagan Hynes // Senior // Naperville, Ill.
Set personal-bests at each distance she's ran this year ... Finished first on the team and 15th overall with a 4K time of 15:31 at the Illini Challenge ... Competed in the open race at the Notre Dame Invitational, setting a 5K time of 18:28 and finishing fourth overall ... Covered the Pre-Nationals black race course with a new 6K time of 22:31, finishing 69th overall.
Rachel Irion // Junior // Naperville, Ill.
Has set personal-bests at each distance this season ... Finished first for the Illini at the Bradley Classic, running her first 6K race with a time of 22:36 ... Scored points for Illinois at the Illinois Open and the Illini Challenge, finishing second and fifth, respectively.
Katie Porada // Junior // Clarendon Hills, Ill.
Second consecutive year on the Big Ten roster ... Made season debut at the Illinois Intercollegiate meet, placing 7th overall and third for the Illini with a 5K time of 17:44 ... Finished third for the Illini at the Notre Dame Invitational, coming in 38th overall with a season best 5K time of 17:22 ... Scored for Illinois at the Pre-Nationals meet, finishing with a 6K time of 21:57.
Lindsey Rakosnik // Freshman // Lombard, Ill.
Scored points for the Illini at the Illinois Open, finishing third and setting a 5K time of 19:04 ... Ran in the unseeded race at the Pre-National meet, covering the 6K course in a time of 22:46.
Chloe Schmidt // Sophomore // Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Started season off with a 18:26 5K finish at Illinois Intercollegiate meet ... Ran unattatched at the Notre Dame Invitational, finished with a career best 5K time of 18:04 ... Ran in the Black Race at Pre-Nationals, finishing first for the Illini and 32nd overall with a career best 6K time of 22:03 ... Will run in the Big Ten Championships for first time in career.
Alyssa Schneider // R-Freshman // Bartlett, Ill.
Began season by helping the Orange and Blue win the Illinois Intercollegiate, placing eighth overall with a 5K time of 17:45 ... Was one of six Illini to set a personal best time at the Notre Dame Invitaional, running a 5K time of 17:21 and finishing 36th overall ... Scored points for the Orange and Blue at Pre-Nationals, finishing third among her teammates with a career-best 6K time of 21:40.
Courtney Yaeger // Senior // Wheeling, W.V.
Third Big Ten Championships she has competed in ... Has finished first for the Illini and set personal best times in all three races this season ... Made season debut at the Illinois Intercollegiate, finishing first among the Illini and second overall with a personal best 5K time of 17:14 ... Named Big Ten Conference Co-Athlete of the week for her effort at the Illinois Intercollegiate meet ... Paced the Illini for the second consecutive week, running a new personal best 5K time of 16:48, and finished sixth overall at the Notre Dame Invitational ... Finished first again for the Illini at Pre-Nationals, setting a career best 6K time of 21:00, cutting 45 seconds off her previous best.
LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore Colette Falsey took the individual title and led Illinois at the fifth annual Illinois Open last weekend. Four of the five runners placed in the top 10, with three inside the top five. The Illini finished second, totaling 36 points, three points from first.
Falsey led the Illini for the second time in her career with a 5K time of 18:46. Rachel Irion came in second for the Illini, finishing third overall with a time of 19:00 while teammate Lindsey Rakosnik crossed the line with a time of 19:04, in fourth place overall.
Finishing fourth for the squad was senior Meagan Hynes, finishing the course in a time of 19:15, while Stephanie Brown rounded out the Illinois scoring, with a time of 20:08. Sophomore Amanda Zamora finished the 5K course with a time of 20:!9, placing sixth for the Illini and 27th overall.
ILLINI FIFTH IN THE USTFCCCA MIDWEST REGION RANKING
The University of Illinois is ranked fifth in the latest USTFCCCA Midwest Region team rankings. A pair of Big Ten schools and Big 12 squads are in the mix at the top of the region rankings. Iowa State is first, followed by Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Illinois.
The Illini will take a week off before competing in the NCAA Midwest Regionals on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo.