Nov. 14, 2013
2013 Midwest Regionals Preview | Coach Jones Interview
NCAA Midwest Regional Championships
Friday, Nov. 15 (1:15 p.m. CT) - 6K Race
Iowa State Cross Country Course // Ames, Iowa
The Fighting Illini women's cross country team will travel to the NCAA Midwest Regionals on Friday, Nov. 15. The 6K race will begin at 1:15 p.m. CT, immediately following the men's 10K race.
The top two finishing teams receive an automatic berth to the NCAA National Championships, as well the top four runners who are not on a qualifying team. The NCAA Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Coach Jones on the Meet
"The reason you go to the Regional meet is to qualify for the NCAA Championships," said Jones. "That has to be our approach. It's not something where we just show up and participate, but we go there with a purpose and each individual has to contribute to the team's success."
"We have people who can legitimately be aspiring to qualify for that meet as individuals," said Jones. "We need to go there and race assertively and race with confidence. That will be a tremendous learning experience for us if that happens."
The NCAA Midwest Regionals field consists of teams from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Iowa State leads the field, ranked No. 7 in the latest national poll. The Illini will face big ten opponents No. 16 Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Northwestern. The Orange and Blue have competed against ten of the 36 teams in the Midwest region, and have beat nine of them at some point this season.
Illini Set to Run
The NCAA Midwest Regional squad consists of seven Illini, three of whom competed in the regional meet last season. Amanda Fox, Katie Porada, Alyssa Schneider, Stephanie Morgan, Rachel Irion, Audrey Blazek, and Hanna Winter will make the trip to Ames, Iowa to compete in the race.
Illini at the Big Ten Championships
The Illinois women's cross country team finished in ninth place at the 2013 Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Nov. 3. The team scored 241 points, with redshirt-sophomore Alyssa Schneider leading the way for the Illini. The Bartlett, Ill. native clocked a 6K time of 21:45.0 to place 28th.
Senior Katie Porada (22:12.6) and sophomore Amanda Fox (22:14.9) each improved upon last year's conference championship finishes, placing 44th and 46th, respectively. Freshman Hanna Winter made her Big Ten Championships debut, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:45.2 to place 71st. Redshirt-sophomore Britten Petrey rounded out the Illini scoring, clocking a 22:52.8 to finish 75th.
Junior Rachel Irion improved upon last year's conference championship finish, placing 88th with a time of 23:14.7, while freshman Audrey Blazek clocked a 23:30.3 to finish 96th in her Big Ten Championships debut. Sophomore Natalie Wynn (24:11.2) and senior Stephanie Morgan (24:23.4) placed 100th and 102nd, respectively.