Redbird Cross Country Ready for NCAA Midwest Regionals
Aisha Praught

Aisha Praught

Nov. 10, 2011

NORMAL, Ill. - After capturing the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Championship, the Illinois State women's cross country team heads north to DeKalb, Ill., Saturday, November 12, to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at the NIU North 40 course. Two members of the men's team will lace up for the Redbirds as they will compete in the men's 10K championship.

The NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, will assemble individuals from 27 men's squads and 31 women's teams, highlighted by the defending men's national champion No. 2 ranked Oklahoma State.

The women enter Saturday's meet ranked No. 10 in the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional, as voted by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Coming off a win at the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Championships, head coach Jeff Bovee and his women's team feels like they have something to prove this weekend.

"The women are ranked No. 10 in the region," said Bovee. "One of our goals this season was to finish in the top-10, and in order to do that they need to run a great team race like they did at the Valley championships. There is a lot of excitement and momentum carrying over from the Valley meet they will surly help with their performance. We want to fight and try to get one of the women to qualify for the NCAA Championships, something that hasn't been done in quite some time."

Competing on the men's side, as individuals, will be freshman Ryan Rutherford and senior John Navarro. Rutherford finished the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Championships in 13th place, with teammate Navarro not far behind in 19th.

"This is a chance for Ryan to gain some experience as a freshman at the regional meet, as well as, a chance for John to go out on top," said Bovee. "John has had a consistent cross season, and this is a chance for him to build upon that and carry it over onto the track. As for Ryan, it is all about getting experience. He ran a great conference race and it would be nice to see him carry that over and make some noise in the region."



The men's 10K championship race is slated for a noon start, with the women's 6K to follow at 1:15 p.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.