Cross country prepped for nighttime race

By Rhema Rhea

Cross country will hit the course for the first time Friday when it performs under the lights of the NIU Outdoor Recreation Sports Complex.

The two-mile race will begin at 8 p.m. with a battle between the Huskies, the Northwestern Wildcats and the DePaul Blue Demons.

Senior Jamie Burr, team captain for the second-straight season, said she feels the preseason went well. She is ready to perform at the high level she did prior to going down with an injury late in last season’s cross country campaign.

“I think that everyone is looking pretty strong,” Burr said. “A couple of us are really trying to get back in the swing of things and back to our normal paces, but I think the whole team has been doing a really good job. We’ve had some really good workouts throughout preseason. I think that we are going to be an all new team this year.”

Head coach Greg Hipp, entering his fourth season as the head man of the distance program, said despite having minor injuries throughout his roster he has a nice bright spot going into the year with freshman Kelsey Hildreth.

“Kelsey is a pretty impressive kid, and she’s going to race this weekend,” Hipp said. “She’s already shown that she’s capable of being a really successful runner right off the bat here, and we’re looking forward to having her join us.”

Burr is excited to get in front of the home crowd once again.

“I think that it will be awesome, and the fact that it is the nighttime race kind of adds a little bit of drama to it,” Burr said. “It’s always good. I personally love racing at home, and I know a few years back we had Regionals here on the home course and that was just great. But yeah, it’s just fun when there are people out there supporting us.”