Racing against some of the best competition in the nation Saturday, the Northern Illinois University cross country team finished 25th at the Greater Louisville Classic.
The Huskies were paced by freshman Kelsey Hildreth’s 23rd-place overall finish in a time of 17:36.32. Senior Meghan Heuer wasn’t far behind, finishing in 40th place with a personal-best time of 17:50.61.
NIU head coach Greg Hipp was pleased with the performance of his top two racers, but says adding depth will be the key for his team to accomplish its goals at the end of the season.
“Kelsey and Meghan give us a very strong top two, but we need more out of the rest of our squad,” Hipp said. “It’s tough right now because three of our best runners have been out, but we’re hoping to have them back very soon.”
Also of note for NIU was a personal-best collegiate time for redshirt freshman Taylor Perkins, who completed the race in 19:21.66.
Hipp believes the Huskies have the ability to continue to improve and finish near the top of the Mid-American Conference when the league championships come around at the beginning of November.
“We have to work on our confidence and managing the stress of race day to perform at our potential,” he added. “We are certainly capable of being a very good team, and we will work hard to perform our best. Getting healthy would also be a huge step forward for us.”
Next up for NIU is the final preparation before the MAC Championships. The Huskies travel to Peoria for the Bradley Classic at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. For more information on NIU cross county and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.