Senior Angela Bizzarri hopes to lead the Illini and earn All-Big Ten honors for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday.
Oct. 28, 2009
The No. 13-ranked Illinois women's cross country team travels to University Park, Pa., to compete in the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Penn State on November 1. The 6K race will take place at the Blue-White Golf Course at 10:45 a.m. CT and will be aired by the Big Ten Network on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 12 p.m. CT. At last year's championships in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Orange and Blue took fourth place for the second consecutive year. This year, the Illini hope to contend for the top spot at the meet. The Orange and Blue have never won the Big Ten Championships, but recorded runner-up finishes in 1984, 2004 and 2005.
Big Ten Championships Schedule
Sunday, Nov. 1
Men's 5.2-mile race - 9:45 a.m. CT
Women's 6K race - 10:45 a.m. CT
All eleven Big Ten schools will be competing at the championships. Currently there are five Big Ten schools in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, and Illinois is the highest ranked out of all the Big Ten schools. The Illini will square off against the following ranked Big Ten rivals: No. 15 Minnesota, No. 22 Michigan, No. 23 Iowa and No. 27 Michigan State.
The Orange and Blue took fifth in a loaded field of 37 teams on Oct. 17 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course for the Pre-National Invitational. The Illini had a team score of 206 to place in the top five, and faced nine ranked teams in the White Race. Senior and seven-time All-American Angela Bizzarri finished the 6K race in 20:27.8 to top the other 246 competitors and take home the individual title. Following Bizzarri was sophomore Kristin Sutherland who came in seventh place with a personal-best 6K time of 20:50. Senior Elizabeth Boyle (20) came in third for the Illini and had a personal-best 6K time of 21:10. Other scorers for Illinois were juniors Chantelle Groenewoud (21:36, 46), and Jamie Brusa (132) with a personal-best 6K time of 22:28.
The Running Illini
Three seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and one freshman make up this weekend's tournament roster:
Angela Bizzarri // Senior // Mason, Ohio
Opened the season at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite with a 6K time of 22:16 ... Placed first for the Illini and second overall at the Wisconsin Inter-Regional with a 5K time of 17:22 ... Beat out 246 other runners and won the Pre-National Invitational with a 6K time of 20:27.8 ... Named Big Ten Runner of the Week on Oct. 20 after Pre-Nats ... Finished seventh at last year's Big Ten Championships, third in 2007 and fifth in 2006, earning All-Big Ten honors each year.
Elizabeth Boyle // Senior // Elmhurst, Ill.
Placed first for the Illini and seventh overall at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite with a 6K time of 22:00 ... Had a 5K personal-best at the Wisconsin Inter-Regional with a time of 17:32 ... Placed 20th out of the loaded field at the Pre-National Invitational with a 6K time of 21:10.2 ... Finished 53rd at last year's Big Ten Championships.
Theresa Brokaw // Senior // Stronghurst, Ill.
Made her season debut at the Pre-National Invitational and clocked a time of 24:09.1 for the 6K race ... Placed fifth at the Illini Open with a 5K time of 18:59 ... Finished 33rd at last year's Big Ten Championships and 42nd in 2007.
Jamie Brusa // Junior // Arlington Heights, Ill.
Opened the season at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships and placed first for the Illini and 11th overall with a 5K time of 18:22 ... Finished the Wisconsin Inter-Regional with a 5K time of 18:26 ... Came in fifth for the Illini at the Pre-National Invitational with a 6K time of 22:28.0.
Chantelle Groenewoud // Junior // N. Vancouver, B.C.
Placed second for the Orange and Blue and eighth overall at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite with a 6K time of 22:05 ... Finished the Wisconsin Inter-Regional in fourth place for the Illini with a 5K time of 17:43 ... Came in fourth for the Illini and 46th overall at the Pre-National Invitational, running the 6K race in a time of 21:36 ... Placed 36th at last year's Big Ten Championships and 39th in 2007.
Meghan Murphy // Freshman // Sugar Grove, Ill.
Began her collegiate cross country career at the Illini Challenge with a time of 15:37.57 to finish in 13th place ...Came in first for the Illini and 10th overall at the Bradley Open with a 5K time of 19:01 ... Had a personal-best 5K time of 18:58 at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships and finished third for the Orange and Blue ... Competed in the Open Division at the Pre-National Invitational and finished the 6K race in 23:04.3 ... Placed 10th at the Illini Open with a 5K time of 19:13.
Kristin Sutherland // Sophomore // Orland Park, Ill.
Debuted at the Wisconsin Inter-Regional and had a personal-best 5K time of 17:22 to place second for the Illini and sixth overall at the meet ... Finished second for the Illini and an impressive seventh overall at the Pre-National Invitational, running the 6K race in a time of 20:50 ... Placed 19th at last year's Big Ten Championships.
Ashley Thompson // Junior // Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Paced the Orange and Blue at the season-opening Illini Challenge, placing third with a personal-best 4K time of 14:39.57 ... Finished fifth for Illinois at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite ... Came in second for the Illini at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships with a personal-best 5K time of 18:32 ... Ran a personal-best 5K time of 18:12 at the Wisconsin Inter-Regional ... Came in sixth for the Illini at Pre-Nationals with a 6K time of 22:36.4.
Danelle Woods // Sophomore // Ottawa, Ontario
Began the season at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite in fourth place for the Illini with a 6K time of 22:16 ... Captured the individual title at the Illini Open with a 5K time of 18:49 ... Placed 24th at the 2007 Big Ten Championships with a 6K time of 20:55, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors ... Redshirted the 2008 season.