Illini place sixth at McNichols Invite

By Kali Marpe, Staff writer

The Illini women’s cross country team came in sixth overall on Saturday at the John McNichols Invitational, boasting new personal records. 

The team took a road trip to Terra Haute, Indiana for the Indiana State hosted meet. The course will be the location of the NCAA National Cross Country Championships in November. 

Prior to the meet, head coach Sarah Haveman was excited for her team to experience the impending challenges at the McNichols Invitational.

We are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend is presenting us,” Haveman said, per Fighting Illini Athletics. “Our women will be able to gain great experience against the top teams in the country.”

However, the team didn’t let the pressure of competing against some of the NCAA’s top teams get in the way of running. 

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    Illinois ended the meet with a total score of 126 points while competing against other top schools including Arkansas, Stanford, Washington, Michigan and Northern Arizona.

    Several Illini also finished in the top-25. Illinois’ first competitor to finish, junior Rebecca Craddock, placed 11th overall out of 234 runners and with a time of 17:01.8. Behind Craddock, freshman Emma Wilson took 22nd place with a time of 17:31.7. Sophomores Emma Milburn, Madison Marasco, junior Alison McGrath and junior Nicki Cast all finished within the 17-minute mark. While junior Katie Stapleton, freshman Olivia Howell, sophomore Lauren Katz, redshirt sophomores Mikaela Lucki, Caroline Fix and freshman Katie Hohe all finished within 18 minutes.

    Craddock has led the team in both meets so far this season but is focused on the team performing well overall.

    Craddock was impressive today and lead the way through a well-executed race plan for our team,” Haveman said. “It was a great day for our women; we are in a really good spot. The team still has work to be done and will need to continue to work hard throughout the season, but they are certainly off to a good start. With a bit more experience we will be able to continue to evolve and continue to climb.”

    The women are starting the season on a high note, which could lead to a potentially historic season for the Illini. 

    The Illini will compete Saturday at Ohio State in the Buckeye Preview.



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