Cross Country Set to Compete at Illinois Intercollegiate
Sept. 16, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State has announced the teams that will compete in the Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships Friday. A total of 79 teams will participate in the meet that will be held at the Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University. The women will compete in the 5K race at 5 p.m., and will be followed by the men's 8K race at 5:45 p.m. The meet will start at 4:15 p.m., with an open women's 5K race and men's 8K race.
A total of 40 women's teams and 39 men's teams from across the state of Illinois will represent the three divisions of the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Head coach Jeff Bovee feels that the Illinois Intercollegiate will have some of the toughest competition the meet has seen.
"The women's meet is going to be a very competitive race," said Bovee. "I think it will be more competitive up front between the top teams than it was in past years. Illinois and Northwestern women's teams will be coming, and they are both regionally ranked with very talented runners. Bradley will also bring over a very competitive group, who are picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference this season. There will also be tough competition coming from all of the NCAA Division III, NJCAA and NAIA."
"Last year's men's champion team was North Central, who was the NCAA Division III National Champion in 2009," said Bovee. "Illinois is bringing over their full men's team, who won this meet two years ago. Olivet Nazarene and McKendree are also both ranked in the NAIA polls, so I think it is going to be a very competitive meet with all of the talent coming in to compete."
The races will showcase six NCAA Division I, 13 NCAA Division III, 10 NAIA and 12 NJCAA programs. North Central won the 2009 men's 8K Intercollegiate Championship title, while Illinois State won the women's 5K title.
Out of the 40 women's teams, four programs are nationally- or regionally-ranked in their respective divisions. Those include No. 11 Illinois (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 12 Illinois State (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 15 Northwestern (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), and No.13 Chicago (NCAA Division III).
On the men's side, five teams are nationally- or regionally-ranked in their respective divisions. Those include No. 8 Illinois (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 12 Illinois State (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 2 North Central (NCAA Division III), No. 16 Olivet Nazarene (NAIA), and No. 19 McKendree (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. ISU revitalized the meet in 2007.
Final results from the meet will be distributed after the conclusion of the Friday's races on the official Illinois State Athletics Web site, GoRedbirds.com, located on the cross country sidebar under "Illinois Intercollegiate Championship Central," or by visiting the ISU cross country sport home page.
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