Redbirds Travel to Illini Open Friday
Hannah Hogan
Hannah Hogan

Oct. 23, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's cross country teams head down the road to compete in their last regular season matchups at the Illini Open at the Illinois Arboretum in Urbana, Ill., Friday. The women's 5K race will begin at 4 p.m., with the men's 8K race following at 4:45 p.m.

"I just want to give this group another opportunity to compete, said Illinois State head cross country coach Jeff Bovee. "We have been sharpening up for this time of year and I feel like this race will let them reap the benefits from all the training. Last year this group ended their season at Bradley Classic and I feel that they didn't get the chance to get rest and race a little more rested. I think that they should be able to get out there with some good legs and race well and try to come away with season-bests, assuming that the weather cooperates."

Competing for the Redbird women are: Senior Natalie Scatena; sophomores Lisa Devereux, Gina Kapusta, Jenny Kraakevik; and freshmen Hannah Hogan, Ashley Salzman, Emily Gallup, Caitlin Bull and Jil Kerkman.

"The women are racing a 5K and for all of them, this is only their second 5K of the year," said Bovee. "They have not run this distance since our home meet, which was over a month ago. Hopefully they are able to walk away with some season or all-time bests."

On the men's side, seniors Ryan Lay and Brian Syring; junior Rob Barkulis; and freshmen Nick Geyer, Kevin Grady and Drew Isbell will represent the Redbird men.



The women will be competing against Illinois, Northwestern as well as some unattached entries, while the ISU men will face Illinois, the Illinois Club cross country team and some unattached competitors.

The Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships will be held Nov. 1 in Springfield, Mo.