Redbirds Conclude Cross Country Season at Midwest Regional
Nov. 15, 2013
AMES, Iowa – The Illinois State men’s cross country team finished 15th, while the Redbird women captured an 11th-place finish at the Midwest Regional Friday afternoon at the Iowa State Cross Country course.
The Redbird men tallied a team total of 375 points. Oklahoma State won the team competition with 38 points, placing five runners in the top-15. Tulsa finished second in the region with a team total of 57 points.
On the women’s side, the Redbirds notched 286 points, finishing 11th in a competitive field of 30 teams. The host team Iowa State won the team competition with 39 total points, 20 points ahead of second-place Minnesota.
“Our region is probably the deepest region in the country with the top-eight teams,” head coach Jeff Bovee said. “We had a shot, and we made tons of improvements from last year, but we still have a lot of room to grow. So, we are going to get back to work and ready for track season.”
Ryan Rutherford finished 20th in a competitive field of 205 racers with a personal-best 10K time of 30:54.2, earning All-Region honors. The Bloomington, Ill., native finished his junior cross-country slate with five top-20 finishes, including two top-three times and an ISU record (Oct. 19).
Tyler Morse was next to cross the finish line for the Redbirds, notching a personal-best 10K time of 31:55.7 to finish 70th overall. Sean Senf was right behind Morse in the pack, finishing 80th overall with a career-best 10,000-meter time of 32:05.9.
“Sean had a great race today," Bovee said. "He had a much better race than he did at the Valley meet. So, I was happy to see him bounce back. Again, he is very consistent. He has probably been one of the most consistent guys all year. Rutherford was in that lead pack until the 8K. When they started moving, it was very slow. It was a lead group of about 20 to 30 guys, going at a five-minute-mile pace. He picked it up, but was not able to close with the milers to get one of the spots in the national meet.”
On the women’s side, Rachael Brewer led the Redbirds for the fifth-consecutive meet. The senior co-captain earned a 6K time of 21:10.6 to finish 26th overall, narrowly missing All-Regional honors.
“On the women’s side, we ran consistently with what we have all year,” Bovee said. “For 6K times, we are probably very similar to what we were at Pre-Nationals. Brewer was in the lead pack, but faded towards the end of the race. She did as well as she could and missed All-Region by one spot. That is unfortunate that she wasn’t able to finish as an All-Regional athlete. She had a great season, and I am really proud of all of the women.”
Kim Christensen was next to cross the finish line for the Redbird women, finishing 36th with a personal-best 6,000-meter time of 21:24.3. Kristen Zillmer had a career-best day, notching a 6K time of 21:44.7 and besting her former career-high by nearly 11 seconds.
“I thought Zillmer had a great race today,” Bovee said. “She ran her all-time best. Goers has probably been the most consistent runner we have had all season. She has been a great addition to our squad. Overall, it is disappointing to finish the season on the note that we did, but we have to move on from here and get ready for a great track season. I think we are just starting to hit our stride, but again, not quite where we were hoping to finish.”
The Midwest Regional concludes the men’s and women’s cross country season, and the Redbirds will be back in action next fall.
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