The Northern Illinois cross country team is set to compete in their first postseason meet of the season, as they will head Saturday to Muncie, Ind., for the 2011 Mid-American Conference Championship. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. with the men’s 10K race, followed by the women’s 6K run at 11 a.m.
Heading into the meet, Huskie head coach Greg Hipp believes that the team has made significant gains throughout the season and will be primed for the conference championship meet.
“The girls have made some tremendous improvements over the last year,” Hipp said. “We only return two from the MAC Championship team last year, but that group that has come in stepped up and has us in position be better than we were last year.”
The meet features all 12 conference members on the flat, yet fast, Muncie Elks Golf Course. The top 15 finishers from each race will earn all-conference honors, while the top placing teams will take home the MAC title.
Last year, the Huskies finished 12th at the MAC Championship and were led by Courtney Oldenburg, who finished with a time of 22:23.60. Despite last year’s disappointment, Hipp feels that the Huskies can step up and be a contender this season and in years to come.
“I think we certainly have the opportunity as a team to show that we are an improving team and we are heading in a new direction,” he said. “Individually, I’m looking forward to seeing what our girls can do. I think we have the potential to see some good performances from our top runners, but we have to get there and put it all together.”
For more information on NIU cross country and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.