Cross country to race Saturday in championships

NIU Huskies cross countryThe Northern Illinois cross country team will culminate its 2010 season Saturday, Oct. 30, when the Huskies head to Three Rivers, Mich. for the 2010 Mid-American Conference Championships, hosted by Western Michigan.

The six-kilometer race will kick-off at 10 a.m. at Pine View Golf Club.

As the Huskies head into the 2010 MAC Championships Northern Illinois assistant cross country coach Mark McConeghey feels the Huskies dedication to hard work will be the key to Huskies’ success.

“It’s going to be a tough meet,” said McConeghey. “To do as well as we did last year we’re going to have to really step up and run hard. We’ve been training everyday and working hard. I think the team’s attitude is good and I think the girls have kept a very positive attitude that will help them at the MAC Championship.”

NIU will look to improve upon an eighth-place finish at the 2009 championships, where the Huskies earned 281 points en route to their best finish at a championship since the 1981 season. Last season, Courtney Oldenburg led the Huskies with a time of 23:41.6, finishing 27th overall at conference. Sunsea Shaw, Breanna Brevitt and Nancy Maritim also finished among the top-five Huskies last season.

Returning four of their top-five Huskies from the 2009 squad, Oldenburg, Shaw, Brevitt and Maritim will join freshmen Claire McAuley, Lindsay DeReadt, Nora Ferguson, Alexis Capps and senior Jackie Sciacero in representing NIU at the championships.

The Huskies enter the weekend after a season best performance at the Tori Neubauer Invitational two weeks ago. At the invite, every Huskie recorded a personal-best 6k time. Oldenburg led the Huskies with a time of 22:03.60, while DeReadt, Maritim, Capps and Brevitt rounded out the top five Huskie finishers at the meet.

Looking forward to this weekend’s competition, McConeghey hopes the Huskies will continue to build on the success of their regular season.

“I hope we run our best race of the year,” McConeghey said. “I hope the girls just continue to improve and that they just compete hard. If the team gives a 100 percent and competes hard that’s all you can ask, you let the chips fall where they may.”

The championships will kick-off at 10 a.m. with the women’s 6k race, and will be followed by the men’s 8k race at noon. The top-15 individuals from each conference will be named all-conference, while the winning team from each race will be named the 2010 Mid-American Conference Champions.

For more information on NIU women’s cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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