Illinois men’s cross-country finishes sixth at the Big Ten Championships

Lining+up+before+the+race+begins%2C+runners+Joe+Crowlin%2C+Garrett+Lee%2C+Luke+Brahm%2C+and+Caleb+Hummer+stand+ready+to+run+as+soon+as+the+gunshot+goes+off.+The+Illini+runners+stayed+together+for+the+first+two+laps%2C+but+as+the+third+one+came%2C+Lee+pushed+to+second%2C+Crowlin+followed+behind+in+third%2C+Brahm+in+eighth%2C+and+Hummer+rounded+them+out+in+nineteenth.+The+Illini+Open+was+held+at+the+Arboretum+on+October+21st%2C+2016.
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Illinois men’s cross-country finishes sixth at the Big Ten Championships

Lining up before the race begins, runners Joe Crowlin, Garrett Lee, Luke Brahm, and Caleb Hummer stand ready to run as soon as the gunshot goes off. The Illini runners stayed together for the first two laps, but as the third one came, Lee pushed to second, Crowlin followed behind in third, Brahm in eighth, and Hummer rounded them out in nineteenth. The Illini Open was held at the Arboretum on October 21st, 2016.

Lining up before the race begins, runners Joe Crowlin, Garrett Lee, Luke Brahm, and Caleb Hummer stand ready to run as soon as the gunshot goes off. The Illini runners stayed together for the first two laps, but as the third one came, Lee pushed to second, Crowlin followed behind in third, Brahm in eighth, and Hummer rounded them out in nineteenth. The Illini Open was held at the Arboretum on October 21st, 2016.

Alyssa Knights

Lining up before the race begins, runners Joe Crowlin, Garrett Lee, Luke Brahm, and Caleb Hummer stand ready to run as soon as the gunshot goes off. The Illini runners stayed together for the first two laps, but as the third one came, Lee pushed to second, Crowlin followed behind in third, Brahm in eighth, and Hummer rounded them out in nineteenth. The Illini Open was held at the Arboretum on October 21st, 2016.

Alyssa Knights

Alyssa Knights

Lining up before the race begins, runners Joe Crowlin, Garrett Lee, Luke Brahm, and Caleb Hummer stand ready to run as soon as the gunshot goes off. The Illini runners stayed together for the first two laps, but as the third one came, Lee pushed to second, Crowlin followed behind in third, Brahm in eighth, and Hummer rounded them out in nineteenth. The Illini Open was held at the Arboretum on October 21st, 2016.

By Tatiania Perry, Contributing writer

Senior Dylan Lafond finished 10th for the Illinois men’s cross country team at the Big Ten Championships this weekend.

Lafond received his second career All-Big Ten honor with a time of 24 minutes and 56 seconds in the 8k race.

With 126 points, Illinois placed sixth overall, only three points behind No. 14 Michigan. No. 18 Wisconsin took first with 63 points.

“Every year, it’s going to be really bunched up early on and then breaks are made,” head coach Jake Stewart said. “That’s where the race is decided — most times in the last two or three thousand meters. I thought we competed hard.”

The Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis is a notoriously difficult course due to its rolling hills. The Illini did get a chance see it earlier this season, allowing them to better prepare for it.

Lafond ran almost two minutes faster than his last race at the course in late September.

“Dylan just kind of let his guard down a little bit today and just ran,” Stewart said. “[He] did a really good job and certainly showed himself to be more along the lines of the runner he is, and he can be satisfied with today.”

Freshman Jon Davis had a hard time with this course in his first race earlier this season, but upon return, he placed 17th.

“He made a lot of smart decisions; he was much more involved and much calmer in the race,” Stewart said. “He can build off of this certainly and be a player up front in this race in the next three or four years.”

Sophomores Zach Dale and Zach Smith earned their way onto Stewart’s list of standouts, running their best race of the year.

“That’s what we expect out of them, to know they can build off of (adversity),” Stewart said. “With the struggles we’ve had five or six weeks ago, we came back and made some corrections and built off of that.”

Looking back at the performances in late September, most of the team ran better times and Stewart was content with the day.

“I don’t want us to be certainly overly satisfied with our placing,” Stewart said. “But I think we need to be satisfied with what we attempted to do and how we went about trying to do it.”

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