|ISU cross-country garners first, fourth place finishes|
|Written by Ashley Schrader, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Tuesday, 22 September 2009 10:20|
Redbird distance runners hold their own at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships meet
The sun was shining, the gnats were flying and the spectators were cheering at the Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships on Friday.
The women’s team ran as a tight pack starting from the very beginning of the race and the other teams simply could not keep up to ISU’s overall pace.
The ‘Birds attacked their home course and many of the women ended the race with personal-best performances.
“It was awesome today,” junior Kirsten Lang said. “We have a lot of depth and we have been waiting for this meet. Everyone was pumped up and ready to get out there, run as a pack and go out for the win.”
Following ISU was Loyola in second place (60 points), Illinois in third (88 points), Illinois-Chicago in fourth (109) and Eastern Illinois in fifth (118).
“The women did an outstanding job,” head coach Jeff Bovee said.
“They really made a statement today. Their goals for the year are to compete for a chance at the conference championship and to compete for the regional championship at the end of the year. We had several women run big time personal-bests, which helps us towards our goal.”
Lang paced the Redbirds in second place with a 17:55 in the 5K race. Following Lang were juniors Sarah Glowacki in third (17:57), Michelle Brunk in fourth (18:03) and Jess Husted in sixth (18:18). Freshman Sam Bluske rounded out ISU’s top five runners in eighth place with a time of 18:21.
Illinois-Chicago’s Kristen Heckert won the meet with a personal best of 17:37.
“We have an incredible amount of depth and I’m really thrilled for the women,” Bovee said. “They worked pretty hard in the summer and are training especially hard now. They deserve this success.”
The men’s race was packed full of highly competitive individuals and teams.
Illinois State’s heavily freshmen-based team fared well against the field, earning fourth overall and second in the University Division (58 points).
North Central won the meet with 56 points followed by Illinois in second (72 points), and Rend Lake College in third (83 points).
ISU senior Scott Krapf led the ‘Birds in fourth place with a personal-best time of 24:28 in the 8K race.
In the University Division, Krapf won the race. Rounding out the remaining four Redbirds were junior Matt Mroczynski in 10th (24:50), freshman Gerado Perez in 29th place (25:34), redshirt freshmen David Schumacher in 38th place (24:48), and Kevin Forde in 47th place (25:58).
“That’s as strong as we can make it today,” Bovee said. “We have a couple of injuries, so we have to rely on our freshman and redshirt freshman to step up. That being said, Gerardo [Perez] did a great job for us, and Kevin [Forde] looked great. I was proud of them. With Scott and Matt, we have a really good one-two punch with them; we just need the other runners to close the gap.”
Krapf said it will take a team effort to improve the team’s overall performances.
“I was a little bit disappointed not running with my teammate [Matt Mroczynski], but we will work on that,” Krapf said. “We will focus on working together a little better; we are only as good as each other is, we are going to need some familiar faces around in the upcoming meets.”
Illinois State is looking forward to continuing success at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 2 at 4 p.m.