Illinois cross country to hold Illini Open for first time since 2019


Photo Courtesy of Emma Milburn Instagram

Illinois cross country senior Emma Milburn runs alongside Annalyssa Crain, Rebecca Craddock, Kora Malecek, and Allison McGrath at the Red Bird Invite at ISU Sept. 17. The Illinois cross country team will hold their first invite since 2019 at the University Arboretum on Friday.

By Renato Arteaga, Staff Writer

 The Illini’s only home meet of the season will take place at the University Arboretum on Friday. The Illini Open marks the Illini’s first home meet in over two years. 

At the team’s previous meet, the NCAA Pre-Nationals, the women finished ninth overall, while the men’s team finished 37th overall.

Many of the top runners for both programs will be resting this meet as they prepare for the upcoming Big Ten Championships, which are scheduled to take place on Oct. 29.

This home meet will be dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an event that hasn’t taken place in recent years. Runners will be equipped with pink accessories and names on their jerseys explaining who they’ll be running the meet for. 

Senior Emma Milburn explained that senior Ayah Aldadah got the idea from previous events at her former school, Bradley University. 

“All the other teams have a chance to participate in this event, too, so that is something that is really exciting to do this year,” Milburn said. “(Ayah) was the leader of this event and has been working with people to set it up. She has done an awesome job with this.”

The Illini Open is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.



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