The meet is one of the most unique in the nation, as the course is situated between downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan in Montrose Beach.
The college portion of the meet gets under way at 11:15 a.m. with the men’s 8K race, followed by the women’s 5K at noon.
“It’s going to be a neat atmosphere,” said NIU head coach Greg Hipp. “It wouldn’t be the place I would want to train in every day, but for one meet on a regular old Saturday, it will be a nice place to run. We’ll be able to see downtown Chicago behind us and the lake to our right. It will be a fun place to compete for our girls.”
The field includes 53 teams from across the country, including national powers Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State, along with to Mid-American Conference rival Toledo.
“With 53 teams in the field, we have to make sure that we are aggressive early,” Hipp said. “We have to put ourselves in the positions we want to be in early in the race because there’s not going to be a lot of opportunities to move up and around people. It’s going to be interesting to see how they respond to a field of this size.”
For more information on NIU cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.