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

Roberts’ 10th place finish earns him spot at NCAA championships

Senior Jack Roberts’ spectacular season continued Friday as he placed tenth (30:27.6) at the NCAA Midwest Regionals. By placing 10th, Roberts punched his ticket to the NCAA championships next week.

Roberts has competed in six meets this season and has finished in the top ten at all six of them, including first-place finishes at three. He will be the first Illini to compete in the NCAA championships since 2021 when Jon Davis qualified and finished 39th (30:46.3).

Outside of Roberts, Friday marked the end of the season for the program. The men’s team, with 205 points, placed sixth which was a one-spot improvement from last season. Two hundred five is also the team’s best regional point total since 2017, when they tallied just 98 points. 

Junior Anthony Maida, who finished 181st at last year’s regionals, improved 145 places and took 36th (31:34.2). Sophomore Brady Masters also drastically improved upon his 96th place finish last year by taking 44th (31:43.9).

Rounding out the top five were sophomore Alex Partlow, who placed 47th (31:45.7), and senior William Merrick, who took 68th (32:10.1). Freshman Kyle Clark made his regional debut by finishing 105th (32:43.4), 18th best among freshmen. 

    Subscribe to our sports newsletter!

    Maida, Partlow, Merrick and junior Nicolas Dovalovsky, who finished 118th (32:52.8), all set new personal bests in the 10k race. 

    Junior Halle Hill set the pace for the women’s team. Hill placed 16th (21:00.8), a 44-spot improvement from last year. Hill also earned All-Region honors for her performance. The women’s team finished 10th overall with 302 points.

    Juniors Sam Poglitsch and Maggie Gamboa took 43rd (21:36.6) and 47th (21:39.5), respectively. Gamboa improved 89 spots over her finish last season. Freshman Avril Andre set a 6K personal best at 21:51.2, good enough for 58th.

    Senior Breena Shreeves closed out the top five by placing 139th (22:58.8). Sophomore Lydia Malacek finished 158th (23:18.9), and freshman Mabry Bruhn placed 194th (24:00.5), each in their regional debut. 

    Oklahoma State ruled the meet, capturing first in both races by a large margin. Four of the top five men and three of the top five women, including both the first and second-place individuals in each race, represented OSU. 

    Denis Kipngetich, at 29:39.2, was the overall men’s winner. Brian Musau took second ten seconds later. The pair of Ohio State freshmen figure to be a dominant duo at next week’s championships. 

    Iowa State, the second-place team in both the men’s and women’s races, also earned a berth at the championships. Joining Roberts as individual qualifiers are Kansas’ Chandler Gibbens, Iowa’s Max Murphy and Loyola Chicago’s Chris Devaney.

    Billah Jepkirui (20:28.4) was the overall women’s winner. Her Ohio State teammate Taylor Roe finished a close second (20:29.1).

    Advancing outside of Ohio State and Iowa State on the women’s side are Kansas’ Lona Latema, North Dakota’s Yonca Kutluk, Drake’s Brooke Mullins and Northwestern’s Ava Earl.

    The NCAA championships will take place Saturday at Virginia’s Panorama Farms Cross Country Course. Roberts will race at 10:10 a.m. Central Time. 

     

    [email protected]

    More to Discover
    ILLordle: Play now