The Northern Illinois women’s cross country team raced to one of its best finishes of the 2010 season Saturday as every Huskie recorded a personal best six-kilometer time at the Tori Neubauer Invitational, hosted by UW-La Crosse in West Salem, Wis.
Shattering an NIU school record, sophomore Courtney Oldenburg helped lead the Huskies to an 11th-place finish at the Maple Grove Country Club.
After a record-setting afternoon, Northern Illinois assistant cross country coach Mark McConeghey was impressed with the improvements of the Huskie team this week.
“I am very proud of how the girls raced today, every girl on the team ran very well,” said McConeghey. “Courtney had an exceptional race, setting the fastest 6k time ever at NIU. I was impressed with how the team competed, several of the girls had a phenomenol race, and each girl on the team set a PR.”
Racing in her hometown, Oldenburg ran set an NIU school record time when she raced to a career-best time of 22:03.60 at the invite. Finishing first for the Huskies, and 10th overall, Oldenburg surpassed the previous school record time of 22:10, which was set by teammate Sunsea Shaw in 2007.
Minimizing the gap between NIU’s first and second place runners to under a minute for the first time this season, Lindsay DeReadt finished second for the Huskies with a time of 22:49.80.
“We have been working on closing the gap between our number one and two runners, and we were finally able to do that today,” McConeghey said. “I was very happy to see that we knocked about 30 seconds off of the gap between our number one and two runners.”
Crossing the finish line in a time of 23:09.00, Nancy Maritim claimed the Huskies’ third-place finish. Freshman Alexis Capps and senior Breanna Brevitt rounded out the Huskies top-five finishers, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Capps clocked in with a time of 23:33.30, while Brevitt completed the course in a time of 23:35.00.
Following the pace of their fellow Huskies, Nora Ferguson, Claire McAuley, Jackie Sciacero, Heather Childs, Samantha McConeghey, Amanda Trancoso and Kayla Stipp each raced to personal-best records at the invitational.
“The team ran a great race today,” McConeghey said. “I think this will help us head into the MAC championships with a positive attitude and I expect to see the girls do very well when we head to the championships in two weeks.”
Northern Illinois will look to carry the momentum of its recent success into the 2010 Mid-American Conference Championships, which will be hosted Saturday, Oct. 30, by Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich.
For more information on NIU women’s cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.