IXC Club men and women run to third place through the heat

It was a brutally hot day for the club’s first full meet of the season, but the blazing heat didn’t stop some blazing performances. When the team got an e-mail from President Eric titled, “HHHOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT!!,” everyone realized that conditions would be less than ideal. Both the men and women put together solid performances as dozens of IXC runners made their collegiate debut. By my unofficial count, the men placed third of 14 teams and the women placed third of 15.

Leading the charge for the men once again was Evan White. The heat didn’t seem to bother him as he covered the “Panther Trail” in 26:51, nearly a 15 second improvement from last year’s meet, a much faster race.

Freshman Nick Bushelle turned heads last week at the Illini Challenge, those heads turned again this week as another freshman followed close behind him the whole race. Michael Frintner made his debut in an Illinois singlet this weekend, and finished just a second behind his classmate. On Nick, Frintner said: “He’s my rock.” This dynamic duo of freshmen will be a pair to keep an eye on this season.

Rounding out the scoring five for the Illini men were Greg “Old Greg” Netols and Eric “El Presidente” de Guevara. Another tight pack followed as Jack Morrissey, Joe “Zany” Zeller, and Jared Ripoli finished together in the span of three seconds. Morrissey’s performance is even more impressive considering his bountiful facial hair, which probably made it feel even hotter.

Shout-outs are due to all of the new club members who grinded out their first collegiate 8K in the scorching heat: Jack O’Neil, Austin “Chief” Kuehr, Quinn “the Mighty” Todzo, Brian “B-Griff” Griffin, Cody Hansen, Danny Johnson, Ziggy “Stardust” Zamora, Eduardo “E-Money/E-Ticket” Martinez, Jacob Wilson, Corey Zeinstra, Alex Erwin. These guys toughed it out on a rough day for a five mile race and will only get faster. The men’s team also won in number of participants, there’s something to be said for that on a day with awful running weather.

For the women, freshmen Erin McKee didn’t mess around in her collegiate debut, finishing first for the team in 19:25. Emma Grimes, coming off a huge track season, finished second in 19:33, a whopping 40 seconds better than last year, despite the sweltering conditions. Finishing out the top five were women’s captain and post-race cookie distributor Megan Mocogni, Emma Burkhardt, and Heather Guetterman.

Everyone’s favorite social coordinator Thea Cudnowski and freshman Emily Foley finished back to back as the final members of the top seven. EIU dominated the top of the race by sweeping spots two thru six, but the ladies of IXC held their own, edging out SIU-Edwardsville by just three points to take third place. (There will be a rematch on the Cougars’ home course in a few weeks at the John Flamer Invite.)

Anna Piazza and Angela Wu made their debuts with the club team at EIU, pushing through the heat to kick off the season and their college running careers. It was great to see so many athletes race with the club for the first time, and it’s a huge freshman class. Also, for those of you counting at home, there are already two freshmen, for both genders, who already look like top seven contenders: Nick Bushelle and Michael Frintner for the men and Erin McKee and Lexy Rudofsky for the women. That’s a pretty impressive start for the class of 2018, and who knows what to expect from everyone else as the season goes on.

Coach Krauk said that the results from Friday were about what he expected. After the race, he explained that the first few weeks of training together in Champaign probably hasn’t kicked in. Now the club has time to put in some hard work and prepare for Augustana’ Brisman-Lundee Invitational on September 26.

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Illinois Cross Country Club heads to EIU

The Illinois Cross Country Club season will kick off in full swing this Friday in Charleston, IL, at the EIU Walt Crawford Open. While the men’s and women’s teams each competed in the Illini Challenge last week, it was with limited entries. This will be the first meet that the majority of the club runs this year.

Last year, the men’s team took 3rd of 12 teams at this meet, behind EIU and SIU-Edwardsville. All but one of the top seven from that meet return this year, including last year’s top finisher Joe Zeller, in 26:42 for 8K. Also returning is last year’s five man Evan White. He put together a strong performance to be the club’s top finisher at the Illini Challenge, and it looks like he had a big summer of training. Not a returner, but a runner to keep an eye on is freshman Nick Bushelle, who turned heads last week at the Illini Challenge as the club’s second finisher.

The women’s team took 6th of 13 teams at last year’s meet. Looking at last year’s results show just how much can change over the course of the season, as only four of the top seven finishers would race in the women’s top seven at nationals. The women’s top returner this season is Emma Grimes, who finished first for the club at last week’s Illini Challenge in 19:03 for 4960 meters. Last year at this meet, Grimes ran 20:13 for 5K to finish fourth for the team, look for that time to drop on Friday. Like the men’s team, the women also have a freshman to watch in Lexy Rudofski, who finished third for the team last week.

The race is held on EIU’s “Panther Trail,” just outside of O’Brien Stadium, where the Illinois State Track Meet is held each year. It’s mostly a flat course with a few gradual hills around EIU’s athletic fields and facilities. The course should lend itself to some fast times to start the season, but runners will also have to battle the heat for this early season meet. After a summer of running and two strong weeks of training on campus, both the men’s and women’s teams are ready to compete in Charleston this Friday night.

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Cross Country 2014

It’s that time of year again. Cross country season is upon us and the Illinois XC Club is ready to hit the ground running this fall!

Anyone who is interested in running with the club this fall should fill out this form.

The 2014 meet schedule is posted here.

Practice is 4:15 Monday-Friday at the west side of the Armory. See you there!


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There’s No “I” in Team … Except When There Is

Hey Everyone,

So apparently I was incorrect last week. This week isn’t the last meet for the majority of the team, last meet was.

This week, we had one brave soul carry the ITC flag into battle competition at the Redbird Invitational (results). That single, brave, self-sacrificing, uncompromosing soul was… drumroll:

Beth McGreal.

She ran the 5000m. It was very exciting. Alas, she didn’t PR, meaning that this is the first update for which I have no PR’s to post. Way to let the team down, Beth.*

Anyway, that’s all I have to say today. Don’t forget we have our board elections on Thursday at noon in the Armory, Room 134. If you’re a member of the team, make sure to be there and help us Make Democracy Work.

* Only kidding! I’m sure you ran well, and had as much fun as you could possible have running the 5000m.

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Gina Relays and True Blue

Before we get into the meet of the post (get it?), I have the following announcement to make:

The club will be having elections on Reading Day, on Thursday May 8th at Noon. If you’re on the team, you should have received an e-mail with more details (if you haven’t, you’ll want to contact our club president Eric De Guevara. His e-mail can be found under the Contact Tab. Make sure you scroll down to the Track and Field board NOT the Cross Country board). Unfortunately, because graduate school is a horrible, soul-sucking monstrosity (seriously, just get a job), I will not be standing for re-election. Therefore, we need people to run for the position. Otherwise, our beautiful website will be neglected, and your parents will start calling you to ask you how you did (and we don’t want that, now do we?).

Minimal responsibilities for webmaster are the following:
Upload the results of each meet into our performance database.
Post weekly updates about the meets (a bit of gentle humor appreciated). You should post the list of records (both club and personal) set at the meet, as well as anything else you may decide is worth mentioning.
Keep the club calendar and meet schedule up to date.
Post the minutes of each board meeting to the website.
Anything else related to the website that needs to be handled.
Note: Unlike previous years, the webmaster DOES have a vote on the board.

A technical background is nice, but by no means necessary. Writing proficiency is probably more important, considering the whole “post updates about the meets” thing.

If you are interested in the position and have questions about it, feel free to contact me (Andrew Cholewa) at acholew2@illinois.edu.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, meet results.

Our team split, and went to two different meets this weekend. Many of our distance runners went to Gina Relays in Hillsdale, while everyone else went to the True Blue Open in Jacksonville. True Blue Open Results. Gina Relay Results.

At Gina Relays, we had the following personal records:

Abby Madden ran a personal record in the 5000m with a time of 18:49.24 (so…many…laps…)

Steven Decker ran a PR in the 800m wiht a time of 1:59.37. This was also his first time getting under 2 minutes, at least while running for ITC. Congrats to Steve!

Michael Giocolo ran a PR in the 800m with a time of 2:01.41.

Kevin Lapp (I love this guy’s name so much) also ran a PR in the 800m with a time of 2:06.14.

Meanwhile, at Illinois College:

While Quenton didn’t run a PR in the 100m, he did run the exact same time down to a hundredth of a second in both the prelims and the finals (11.13. He also ran that at NIRCA Nationals, meaning that he’s run the exact same time three out of five of his outdoor races). What are the chances of that? (Answer: While the chances of it happening to Quenton in particular is quite small, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this would happen to somebody at some point, considering the massive number of people running the 100m in any given year).

Anyway, in the 1500m, Hanna Smith PR’d with a time of 5:30.18.

Jayme Roberts PR’d in the 400m with a time of 51.75.

Quenton Hardaway PR’d in the 200m with a time of 22.66.

Ryan Brewster also PR’d in the 200m with a time of 22.74.

David Choi PR’d in the 5000m with a time of 16:23.02.

Next week, the team runs at North Central, for the last meet of the Season for a large fraction of the team (after that we start getting into finals, and beyond).

Till then, everybody.

Andrew Cholewa

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