Illinois men’s cross country with eyes set on the end of season

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Illinois men’s cross country with eyes set on the end of season

The men taking off at the Illini Challenge 2015 at the Arboretum on September 4.

The men taking off at the Illini Challenge 2015 at the Arboretum on September 4.

Jovanie De La Cruz | The Daily I

The men taking off at the Illini Challenge 2015 at the Arboretum on September 4.

Jovanie De La Cruz | The Daily I

Jovanie De La Cruz | The Daily I

The men taking off at the Illini Challenge 2015 at the Arboretum on September 4.

By Emma McGowen

The Illinois men’s cross country team has a long road of meets this season, as always. But besides the events leading up to it, the Illinois runners already have their eyes set on the end of their season conference at the Big Ten Conference Championship meet on Nov. 1. Junior Dylan Lafond said the meet is special to the Illini because “they do a very good job at running the meet and the atmosphere is always very exciting.”

However, just because it stands out to him doesn’t mean Lafond treats the final conference meet any differently than others. He and his teammates treat every meet with the same goal to succeed.

Senior Ian Barnett and junior Sean Pengelly both said they believe they will face the most difficult competition at the Big Ten meet.

Last year, the Illini placed sixth in a field of 12, with 159 points at the conference meet. Wisconsin, who Lafond believes will be Illinois’ toughest Big Ten competitor, came in first with a total of 47 points.

Though their sights are set on the end of their season, the Illini had their first race on Sept. 4 at the University’s Arboretum. They finished first with 15 points in a dual meet with Mizzou, who ended with 50 points.

The next meet the Illini will race in is the Bluegrass Cross Country Invite at Lexington, Ky. on Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. CST.

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