Hunt breaks school record

By Sharon Steed

Saturday’s Pre-Nationals Invitational was an eye-opening experience for the women’s cross country team. The women placed 11th in the white race, which featured Big Ten opponents Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State.

Though the team is disappointed with its effort Saturday, head coach Karen Harvey said this will only help them in the long run.

“It just leaves you with a pit in your stomach until Big Tens, and that’s fine because when we get to Big Tens, we’re going to be hungry,” she said.

The Illini were led by sophomore Cassie Hunt, who finished seventh. By finishing in 20:28.7, she broke the school 6k record, which she set two weeks ago at the Pre-Regional meet in Peoria, Ill.

“Cassie beat her other time by over 30 seconds, and that is just wild,” Harvey said.

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    The nearest finisher after Hunt was senior captain Jaime Turilli, finishing 40th at 21:24.5. Other scorers included sophomore Stephanie Simms, who finished 90th at 22:03.5, and freshmen Maggie Carroll and Rachel Hernandez, who finished in 22:15.7 and 22:23.7 respectively.

    “Jaime had an off day and it hurt her; it hurt her pretty bad,” Harvey said. “I’ve got a young crew. It happens.”

    Although Harvey was disappointed with the team’s performance as a whole, she was impressed with Hunt’s continuous improvement.

    “Cassie had an amazing race. It’s the third one in a row and she’s on a roll,” Harvey said. “I believe she’s going to be even better. I keep saying that every week, and she keeps getting better every week.”