Nov. 22, 2013
NCAAs Preview | Coach Jones Interview
NCAA National Cross Country Championships
Saturday, Nov. 23 (12:15 p.m. CT) - 6K Race
LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course // Terre Haute, Ind.
Alyssa Schneider will represent the Fighting Illini at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. The redshirt-sophomore automatically qualified for the national meet by placing fifth at the NCAA Midwest Regionals. The Bartlett, Ill., native is the first individual to qualify for the national meet since 2009.
Coach Jones on the Meet
"I'm extremely proud and happy for Alyssa," Jones said. "Last year she was the first runner from the Midwest Region to not qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championships, so that's something that she's been living with for a year. She's had a strong season but hadn't put together that total race yet. In the biggest race of the year, when critical things were at stake, she came through and I think that was a tremendous achievement on her part. She competed extremely well."
"I think one of the things we want to do is maintain the routine we've had all along and not attempt to do anything radically different," Jones said. "If she goes there and she races as she's capable of, then she will do fine."
Schneider will compete against participants from 31 teams and 38 individuals that were selected through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection. The team competition includes No. 1 Providence and last year's champion No. 17 Oregon, as well as Big Ten opponents No. 8 Michigan, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 16 Minnesota, No. 22 Penn State, No. 28 Wisconsin and Indiana. Other Midwest Region individual qualifiers are Courtney Frerichs of UMKC, Kaitlyn Fisher of Missouri, and Oklahoma State's Monika Juodeskaite.
Last Time Out
The Illinois women's cross country team finished in eighth place at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, scoring 270 points. Redshirt-sophomore Alyssa Schneider qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career after a fifth place finish, the highest finish for an Illini since Angela Bizzarri won the individual crown in 2009. The Bartlett, Ill., native shaved 31 seconds off of her 6K time to clock a personal-best 20:25, which is also the fourth-fastest 6K time in school history.
Sophomore Amanda Fox finished second for the Illini and 38th overall after trimming eight seconds off of her 6K time to clock a personal-best 21:25. Senior Katie Porada crossed the finish line next with a time of 21:45 to place 61st overall, while freshman Hanna Winter (21:54) finished 80th. Senior Stephanie Morgan rounded out scoring for the Illini, placing 91st with a time of 21:59.
2013 NCAA National Championships Roster
Alyssa Schneider // R-Sophomore // Bartlett, Ill.
Earned All-Region honors after placing fifth at the NCAA Midwest Regionals with a personal-best 6K time of 20:25, which is also the fourth-fastest 6K time in school history ... Led the Illini and placed 28th at the Big Ten Championships ... Paced the Illini in every meet she's competed in this season ... Won the Illini Challenge with a personal-best 4K time of 14:24 ... Placed fifth at the Boilermaker Invitational and eighth at the Pre-National Invitational.