Rutherford Named Valley Athlete of the Week
Ryan Rutherford
Ryan Rutherford

Sept. 20, 2011

ST. LOUIS - After running only the second 8K of his career, freshman Ryan Rutherford was named the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week, as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.

The Bloomington, Ill., native led the Illinois State men's cross country team to a fourth-place finish in the University Division at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships in Normal, Ill, Friday, Sept. 16th. In a field of 323 runners, Rutherford crossed the line in 12th-place (fifth in the University Division) with a time of 24:56. This is the second time this season that he was the first Redbird across the finish line.

The meet was competitive on the men's side, with 10 teams either nationally or regionally ranked in their respective divisions. Those included then-No. 13 Loyola-Chicago (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 14 Eastern Illinois (NCAA Division I-Midwest Region), No. 1 North Central (NCAA Division III and Midwest Region), No. 12 Augustana (NCAA Division III and No. 4 Midwest Region), No. 21 Chicago (NCAA Division III and No. 7 Midwest Region), No. 9 Danville Area Community College (NJCAA), No. 10 Lincoln College (NJCAA), No. 23 Morton College (NJCAA), No. 18 Olivet Nazarene (NAIA) and No. 24 St. Francis (NAIA).

The Redbirds finished the meet behind Loyola, Illinois-Chicago and Eastern Illinois.

Freshman Krista DeCeault also earned a mention as a notable performer from last week. She led the Redbird women to a first-place finish at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, leading wire-to-wire. This was DeCeault's first ever collegiate race at the 5K distance, and it proved to be no challenge as she took the top-spot in a field of 291 participants, running an impressive 17:09, 15 seconds faster than teammate and runner-up Elise Sigg.

The Illinois State cross country teams return to action Oct. 1, as they travel to Louisville, Ky., to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic. Start time for the race is slated for 8:30 a.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.