Illinois men’s cross-country hosts final meet of regular season

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Illinois men’s cross-country hosts final meet of regular season

Illinois' Dylan Lafond during the Big Ten men's cross-country championship in Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday. Lafond finished third and helped the Illini end the meet in second.

Illinois' Dylan Lafond during the Big Ten men's cross-country championship in Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday. Lafond finished third and helped the Illini end the meet in second.

William Most | Daily Illini

Illinois' Dylan Lafond during the Big Ten men's cross-country championship in Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday. Lafond finished third and helped the Illini end the meet in second.

William Most | Daily Illini

William Most | Daily Illini

Illinois' Dylan Lafond during the Big Ten men's cross-country championship in Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday. Lafond finished third and helped the Illini end the meet in second.

By Tatiania Perry, Contributing writer

The Illinois men’s cross-country team will finish out its regular season on a familiar course, competing in the Illini Open, at the University of Illinois Arboretum before heading to the Big Ten Championships.

“It’s a course that the guys have been on a lot and know the ins and outs of,” head coach Jake Stewart said. “(They know) how they are going to feel in certain places on the course.”

Redshirt freshmen Alex Keeble, Jack Lalonde and Connor Maddell will compete for the Illini this weekend.

“I’m anxious to see the progression from where (Keeble, Lalonde and Maddell) started in August with their racing and where they are now,” Stewart said.

Juniors Luke Shroer and Tony Zea, who were both track athletes in the spring, will join the redshirt freshmen on the course this weekend.

As the last meet before the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Oct. 30, this meet is more about having a fun conclusion to the season.

Stewart said he wants a strong performance from his runners this weekend and for them to have some fun while competing.

“It’s fun to be home,” Stewart said. “We travel pretty regularly through the course of the season, and we have very few home race opportunities. The chance to be home, on a course that everybody is familiar with is a nice way to lead into November for some of our guys and get some good experience for the guys who need it. I feel like we always get a positive response from this meet.”

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