The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois cross country aims for silverware at Big Ten Championships

Illinois men’s and women’s cross country will look to put an exclamation mark on their strong seasons at the Big Ten Championships this Friday.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will head to the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin for the morning races.

The men’s team finished either first or second in each of their four meets this season, while the women’s team recorded top-10 finishes at two of their three meets.

Fifth-year senior Jack Roberts took first in three races this year, including the Gans Creek Classic, where he recorded the seventh-fastest 8K in program history with a time of 23:48.8.

Roberts finished 32nd overall at the Big Ten Championships last season in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the team placed sixth with 161 points. Roberts was the third Illini runner to finish last season, but both Colin Yandel, who took 18th, and Irwin Loud, who finished 30th, have since graduated.

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“I think we’re all really looking forward to it,” Roberts said about the championships. “We’re going into it with a really good mindset right now and in a really good place.”

Sophomores Brady Masters and Alex Partlow posted strong seasons as well and will look to improve after finishing 49th and 69th overall, respectively, last season. Junior Anthony Maida is hoping to do the same after placing 88th last year.

Wisconsin won the men’s championship last year with just 25 points, and now have a home-field advantage as they look to repeat. Returning for the Badgers are Bob Liking, the overall winner, and Jackson Sharp, who finished second.

The women’s team tallied 210 points and took ninth at the Big Ten Championships last season. Illinois’ top four finishers have all since graduated or transferred.

After placing 97th at the championships last year, junior Halle Hill finished first, second and sixth in her three races this season.

Also returning to the championships for the Illini are junior Sam Poglitsch, who finished 76th last year, and junior Maggie Gamboa, who took 89th.

Michigan State won the women’s championship last season with 78 points. Katie Osika, who took second at the championships last year, will return for the Spartans, as will Ohio State’s Addie Engel, who finished first overall.

The men’s 8K race is set to start at 10:45 a.m. while the women’s 6K will begin at 11:45 a.m. Morning forecasts for Madison call for temperatures in the low 60s with a marginal chance of showers.

The men’s team is aiming for their fourth Big Ten Championship, and first since 1984, while the women’s team is still searching for their first.

 

@BrendanGallian

[email protected]

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