Illini finishes 10th at championships

Cassie Hunt finished 10th at the USA Track and Field championship. Sports Information

Cassie Hunt finished 10th at the USA Track and Field championship. Sports Information

By Mike Rodriguez

Cassie Hunt ended her first season as a member of the Illinois women’s track team on a high note Saturday, finishing tenth overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USA Track and Field championships in Indianapolis.

Hunt’s time of 10:16.54 was best among collegiate athletes in the field by more than eight seconds and close to Nike’s Lisa Galaviz, who finished first with a time of 9:57.58. Distance coach Karen Harvey was very pleased with Hunt’s performance in an event that featured some experienced national competitors.

“This was great for Cassie,” Harvey said in a press release. “She was tired, but she did her best. This is the experience Cassie is going to need for next year when she is a senior. Cassie had to do this and is taking away a lot of knowledge from the meet. Now we’ll take a break and once we get back to training we’ll work harder than ever before.”

Hunt went into the final day of the competition after hearing that she was named a member of ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-America second team for her success in the classroom as well as on the track.

The Illinois track and field team ended their 2005-2006 season on Saturday. The team will take a break during the summer before preparation for the 2006-2007 track and cross country seasons in the fall.