Huskie leads conference as Runner of the Week

By Northern Star staff

CLEVELAND | Hope Schmelzle, NIU cross country runner, was named Mid-American Conference Runner of the Week Tuesday.

Schmelzle, of Wheaton, finished first place with a time of 17:32.22 at the Country Financial Invitational, leading the Huskies to their first team win of the season.

The Huskies were up against three regionally ranked teams. Her closest competitor was from Iowa and was more than 16 seconds behind her, finishing at 17:48.78, according to a NIU Athletics press release.

“Hope is an elite level athlete not just here in the MAC, but also at the NCAA level,” said Head Coach Adrian Myers in the press release. “She is ready for a breakout season and Illinois State was a great race to benchmark that. I look forward to more standout performances over the course of he season from her.”

This award is just the second time in the past 14 years a Huskie has won Runner of the Week. Cross country runner Kelsey Hildreth won the same award last season at the Roy Griak Invitational where the Huskies compete Sept. 24 in Minneapolis.