Redbird Women Picked as Cross Country Favorite
Aug 19, 2013
ST. LOUIS—The Illinois State women’s cross country team has been selected as the pre-season favorite for 2013 season by a vote of Missouri Valley Conference cross country coaches in their annual preseason poll, as announced Monday by the league office.
After capturing back-to-back titles, the league coaches picked the Redbirds to win their third-consecutive MVC Championship, earning nine first-place votes and 98 points. ISU will have great depth this year, only losing one of their top-seven runners from the 2012 Championship squad. Rachael Brewer (second place), Kim Christensen (seventh), Kelly McShea (eighth) and Sarah Castel (22nd) will look to pace the team to another title in 2013.
The Redbirds also return senior Kristen Zillmer who is coming off a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where she competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Zillmer captured a second-place finish in the steeplechase at the MVC Championships to accompany a first-place finish in the 1,500-meter run.
Krista DeCeault redshirted the 2012 season, after earning All-Valley runner-up honors in 2011 and helped the women’s team to their first conference championship since the Gateway Conference was absorbed by the MVC in 1992. Ellen Devereux competed in six events as a true freshman and was also a part of the championship team.
Loyola tallied 87 points and second place in the poll, and Southern Illinois notched the third-place spot with one first-place vote and 77 points.
On the men’s side, Illinois State was picked to finish fourth behind Southern Illinois (first), Indiana State (second) and Loyola (third). The Redbirds have eight new faces joining the squad and will look to junior Ryan Rutherford to guide them throughout the season, as he looks to repeat his all-conference season.
Both the men’s and women’s teams open up the 2013 season Aug. 30, as they will compete in the Hawkeye Invitational. The race is slated for a 6 p.m., start time.
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