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Runners Oldenburg, McAuley shine at NIU Open

September 12, 2011
Courtney Oldenburg

Courtney Oldenburg

With quality performances from Courtney Oldenburg and Claire McAuley, the Northern Illinois cross country team finished in sixth place Saturday morning at the NIU Open.

The Huskies won three of their eight duals on the day, as they defeated UIC, Knox College and Robert Morris University on the NIU North 40’s reconfigured 5K course.

“We did race a little more aggressively in this meet, which was our main goal,” said NIU head coach Greg Hipp. “The girls got out a lot better than they did a week ago at our first competition, so that’s a big positive.”

“We’re competing a little better. We’ve got to finish stronger and keep moving up, but we’re making some progress.”

Oldenburg led all Huskies in the field with an 11th place finish, crossing the finish line in a time of 19:07.81. Meanwhile, McAuley crossed the finish line in 39th place overall, clocking in at 20:31.81.

Sophomore Alexis Capps was third on the team and 60th overall with a 21:31.72 clip, while freshman Jamie Burr took 66th with a time of 21:54.42.

Katie Downin rounded out the top five for NIU with a time of 22:13.72 to take 70th, while Katie Janssen followed closely behind in 71st at 22:22.42.

Rounding out the field for the Huskies was senior Jessica Troike with a mark of 23:40.08 – good for 84th – and Julianne Cronin in 92nd with a time of 24:25.03.

“It’s not like place isn’t important to us right not, but the most important thing is training and getting us ready for the end of the year,” Hipp said. “We made some progress today and I’m confident our best races are going to come in the end of October and November.”

The Huskies will return to action Saturday, Oct. 1, when they head to the Chicago Lakefront for the Sean Early Loyola Lakefront Invitational. Competition begins at 11:15 a.m. on the Montrose Avenue Beach.

For more information on NIU cross country and Huskie athletics, visit