Illinois men’s, women’s cross country teams look to continue strong start at Red Bird Invite

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Photo Courtesy of Illinois Track & XC

Junior Katie Hohe runs during a meet. The teams continue with their strong start as they compete this weekend at the Red Bird Invitational.

By Renato Arteaga, Staff Writer

The Illini men and women’s cross country teams will be traveling to Normal, Illinois, on Sept. 17 for their second regular-season meet of the year: the Red Bird Invite.

Illinois State will be hosting this competition, and the race will feature some of the Illini’s top runners, after they took the previous meet off.

This meet marks the season debut for many top performers from last year’s playoff run for both sides, including graduate students Jon Davis for the men’s team and Rebecca Craddock for the women’s team.

Last year’s NCAA Championships were the last time some of these runners competed, so this will be a crucial meet for these athletes to find their groove once again.

Both the men’s and women’s teams started the year off strong, with big performances from many individuals on both sides.

The men’s and women’s teams finished in second place at the EIU Walt Crawford Open last week with a lineup that featured underclassmen and older runners with limited experience due to last year’s shortened season.

There were four runners from the women’s side who finished in the top 10, including freshman Margaret Gamboa, who placed second with a time of 17:39.62.

Redshirt senior Caroline Fix and juniors Katie Hohe and Brianna Lausev rounded out the top 10 for the Illini, finishing in sixth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

All six Illini women runners who travelled to Charleston finished in the top 15, which included sophomores Breena Shreeves and Alyssa Norris, who finished 11th and 14th, respectively.

The Men’s side had two runners finish in the top 10, which includes juniors Eddie Lennon, who placed fifth with a time of 25:19.05, and Michael Madiol, who placed eighth with a time of 25:42.94.

The Big Ten Championships are almost a month away, so the Illini might be showcasing how much depth they have on both sides in Normal.

The Red Bird Invite is scheduled for Sept. 17 and is slated to begin at 5 p.m. central time.

 

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