Men’s cross country wins John McNichols Invite


Daily Illini File Photo

Lining up before the race begins, runners Joe Crowlin, Garrett Lee, Luke Brahm, and Caleb Hummer stand ready to run the Illini Open at the Arboretum on Oct. 21, 2016.

By Gavin Good, Assistant sports editor

Four Illinois runners placed in the top five at the John McNichols Invite on Saturday, which helped the team to a first place finish.

The Illini posted a score of 22 points, 32 lower than runner-up and host Indiana State. Redshirt junior Zack Smith took second place overall and led the Illini with a time of 25:19.2.

After not racing in the season opener, Smith vied for the individual title in Terre Haute, Indiana, at one point passing up Louisville’s Daniel Fleace in the last mile of the race before Fleace ultimately won out.

Illinois had the next three runners behind Smith, sweeping second through fifth place.

Redshirt junior Billy Magnesen placed third with a time of 25:28.6 and redshirt freshman Jack LaLonde followed close behind in fourth, recording a time of 25:33.0.

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In fifth, redshirt senior Alex Gold ran a time of 25:38.3 seconds, finishing just a few seconds behind LaLonde.

No Illinois runners finished outside of the top 15, as redshirt seniors Joe Cowlin and Garrett Lee placed eighth and 14th, with times of 25:51.5 and 26:30.9, respectively.

The Illini have had 11 different runners compete in their two meets so far this season.

For Illinois, the Saturday victory continues its positive start to the season. The Illini won a dual meet at Eastern Illinois University last Friday, and they will now ride undefeated into a series of three meets in five weeks.

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