Redbirds Set to Host Illinois Intercollegiate Championships
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Sept. 13, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's cross country teams are ready to host the sixth-annual Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships Friday at the Illinois State Cross Country Course at the Weibring Golf Club. The women will compete in the 5K championship at 5 p.m., followed by the men's 8K championships race at 5:45 p.m. The meet starts at 4:15 p.m., with an open 8K and 5K race for the men and women, respectively.
A total of 38 men's teams and 37 women's teams from across the state of Illinois will participate in the meet. The 75 teams will represent the three division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Head cross country coach Jeff Bovee feels that the Illinois Intercollegiate will provide some of the toughest competition the meet has seen.
"Over the last six years, this meet has established itself again as one of the highlights for the student-athletes competing in it," Bovee said. "For the runners who grew up racing in Illinois, it re-establishes those high school rivalries, while at the same time, creating new ones. Our women's team has won this meet two out of the last three times, and it would be nice to see them defend that title once again. A lot of people will be racing tomorrow for the first time this season and this meet will be a good gauge to where we stack up against some of the other teams in our league and across Illinois."
The race will showcase seven NCAA Division I, one NCAA Division II, nine NCAA Division III, 10 NAIA and 12 NJCAA programs. Illinois State won the 2011 women's 5K championships title, while North Central won the men's 8K title.
Out of the 38 men's teams, 10 programs are nationally or regionally ranked in their respective division. Those include No. 9 Illinois (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 1 North Central (NCAA Division III), No. 11 Chicago (NCAA Division III), No. 19 Augustana (NCAA Division III), No. 15 DuPage (NJCAA I), No. 17 Lincoln (NJCAA I), No. 23 Illinois Central (NJCAA I), No. 1 Harper (NJCAA III), No. 9 St. Francis (NAIA) and No. 24 Olivet Nazarene (NAIA).
On the women's side, 11 teams are nationally or regionally ranked in their respective divisions. Those include No. 8 Illinois (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 9 Illinois State (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 21 Chicago (NCAA Division III), No. 4 Illinois Wesleyan (NCAA Division III-Midwest Region), No. 7 North Central (NCAA Division III-Midwest Region), No. 11 DuPage (NJCAA I), No. 12 Lincoln (NJCAA I), No. 8 Joliet (NJCAA III), No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (NAIA), No. 19 Trinity Christian (NAIA) and No. 24 St. Xavier (NAIA).
The Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships began in 1968 and ended in 1985 for the men's race, while the women's race started in 1976 and ended in 1986. Illinois State revitalized the meet in 2007 and has ran it every year since.
Final results from the meet will be distributed after the conclusion of Friday's races on the official Illinois State Athletics Website, GoRedbirds.com, located on the cross country "In-Depth" tab under "Illinois Intercollegiate Championship Central," or by visiting the ISU cross country sport home page.
Fans can follow the live action on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISURedbirds and @ISU_Track_XC.
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