Illini break records

Shira Weissman

Shira Weissman

By Sharon Steed

Saturday’s women’s cross country race was a battle for second place.

Illinois took first with 21 points. Their closest competitor, Southern Illinois, finished in second place with 82 points. Indiana State was on Southern Illinois’ heels with 89 points.

Although this course was more difficult than previous courses, the Illini came out on top with many runners finishing with personal bests and four breaking the course record of 18 minutes and 2 seconds.

Top finisher sophomore Cassie Hunt broke the previous course record by 57 seconds. Hunt finished in 17:05, beating her personal best by 52 seconds.

“After the race, Cassie told me she could run another kilometer,” head coach Karen Harvey said.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

Senior captain Jaime Turilli finished second with a time of 17:25. Harvey was especially impressed with Turilli this time around. Turilli felt ill, yet managed a personal best by 34 seconds.

“I maybe thought I could run faster but I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with that time,” Turilli said.

Harvey knew Turilli’s situation on Saturday and compared it to last week’s Pre-Regional meet when Hunt was sick and ran “an amazing race.”

“Running a 17:25 5k and you don’t feel very well is very good,” Harvey said.

Turilli, along with her teammates, was excited with how they performed as a whole.

“It definitely gave us more confidence,” Turilli said. “It really showed what we can do as a team.”

Sophomore Stephanie Simms finished third among the Illini and fifth overall with a time of 17:59. The race marked her first time breaking 18 minutes, beating her previous best by 45 seconds.

Freshmen Maggie Carroll and Rachel Hernandez finished fourth and fifth respectively among the Illini, and all were top 10 in the competition. Carroll finished the race in 18:01, a 24 second PR in only her second 5K race. Hernandez finished with a time of 18:11, 58 seconds past her previous best of 19:09.

Sophomore Sammie Polock ran her first race this weekend finishing 11th among the Illini and 40th out of 109 at 19:23. Harvey was impressed with her run as well, knowing Polock was still not 100 percent.

“She’s not very fit right now, but it is just good to have her back in uniform,” she said.

Harvey said Polock will be a force to be reckoned with when she gets back into the swing of things.

Harvey saw this meet as a good starting point for next week’s Pre-National meet which, she said, will be a huge challenge for the team.

“This course is not a super fast course,” Harvey said. “I’m excited we can run fast on a technical and rough course like this.”