Cross country finishes second at Bradley Open; Hague debuts as leader



By Kyle Diller

It was a rainy day at Detweiller Park, but the horrible running conditions couldn’t stop the Orange and Blue runners from continuing their successful start to the season as they ran their way into second place at the Bradley Open.

“The course wasn’t in very good condition, pretty muddy, pretty sloppy, pretty tough, but they went out there and they competed really well,” head coach Jeremy Rasmussen said. “They went after the race and really did what we asked them to do and that was to really try to work together and help each other out. Overall, I felt almost every single person in that race today did an exceptional job at that.”

Indiana State beat out the Illini runners for first place, while hosts Bradley University finished behind the Illini in third place.

Sophomore Stacy Hague made her season debut at the Open and led the Orange and Blue runners with a time of 19 minutes, eight seconds in the 5K race, good enough for fifth place. Sophomore Kate Tysse finished one second behind Hague in sixth place, while senior Christina Beaird also finished in the top 10 with a seventh-place finish.

“I was happy and I felt good about today, I think we did a good job, Kate really pushed me a lot,” said Hague. “I felt like I pushed myself really hard.”

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Before the meet, Rasmussen emphasized the necessity of teamwork, saying that he wanted the girls to work on pushing each other.

“I thought I did really well. Me and Stacy ran together, so we both pushed each other a lot,” said Tysse. “Our goal was to work with each other and pretty much all of us were running with another teammate.”

Junior Ashley Thompson and sophomore Maggie Mulchrone also earned points for the Illini, coming in 14th and 16th place, respectively.

The team moved forward with their plans to have last season’s top runners make their season debuts over the coming weeks. Everyone except junior Angela Bizzarri, a two-time cross country All-American, will compete in the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3.

“It’s going to be really exciting for finally get the entire group up and running,” Rasmussen said. “Everyone has been working out really well and are healthy. It’s just going to be a really fun and exciting year for us.”

The team will travel to Normal, Ill., on Friday, Sept. 19, along with the men’s team, for the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships.