The Northern Illinois cross country team put the finishing touches on the 2011 regular season Friday afternoon at the Bradley Classic.
The Huskies placed 14th on the Newman Golf Course out of 21 teams. Among the teams NIU topped include Midwest Regional rivals Western Illinois, Creighton, UIC and SIU-Edwardsville.
“We have certainly had improvements between September and now,” said Huskie head coach Greg Hipp. “Beating four teams here who beat us earlier in the regular season shows the improvements that we have had. Certainly, we’re making progress. There are a few things we have to work on, but we’re starting to see it.”
Courtney Oldenburg‘s 6K time of 22:42.09 paced the Huskie runners on the day, allowing the junior to finish 54th in the 230 runner field. Also finishing in the top 100 was Claire McAuley, who took 92nd place with a time of 23:18.34.
Jamie Burr, racing in her first 6K race of her college career, took third among NIU runners and 110th overall with a 23:33.24 clip. Sophomore Alexis Capps crossed the finish line at 23:51.75 to finish in 127th, while Katie Janssen rounded out the Huskie top five with a time of 24:48.13 to take 165th place.
“Their confidence is better than it has been,” Hipp said about the squad’s preparation for the MAC Championships. “They feel better going into the MAC meet than they have in years past. It’s good to see that confidence.”
“Once we back off training a bit and just fine tune, I think we’ll see some of the improvements we have been waiting for come out.”
With the regular season behind them, the Huskies will now prepare for the 2011 MAC Championships Saturday, Oct. 29, in Muncie, Ind. The meet gets underway on the Muncie Elks Golf Course at 10 a.m. with the men’s 8K, followed by the women’s 6K at 11 a.m.
For more information on NIU cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.