Cross Country makes good team showing, breaks record

By Sean Anderson

Senior Courtney Oldenburg broke yet another NIU record, this time in the 6K, as NIU cross country finished in 14th place at the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill.

Including Oldenburg, the Huskies had three runners place in the top 60 in a field that included 222 total runners from schools including Illinois State, Bradley, Marquette and Northwestern.

Sophomore Jamie Burr finished in 43rd place while freshmen Ali Olson finished in 60th place.

“She [Oldenburg] ran a great race,” said coach Greg Hipp. “She moved up through the race consistently and got herself up there with some pretty good girls. This was a very impressive run for her. I think Ali and Jamie both ran fairly aggressive and got themselves in decent position. It was career best times for the pair in their career. It was good runs for the both of them.”

Oldenburg easily broke the previous NIU school record with a time of 21:29 for an eighth place finish. Oldenburg also held the old school record of 22:03.60, which she set back in 2010.

Burr placed second among the Huskie runners with a time of 22:12. Meanwhile, Olson was a just 10 seconds behind, crossing the finish line at 22:22.

Alexis Capps was fourth among the NIU contingent with a 120th place showing, clocking in at 23:06. Not far behind was Juliane Totzke, who rounded out the NIU scoring with a 23:09 mark and 125th place finish.

Hannah Savage continued on her return from an injury with a 174th place finish with a time of 24:06. Katie Janssen placed 181st at 24:20 to finish out the Huskie field.

Hipp said the main difference from this meet and the past was the finishes from the back positions on the team.

“We weren’t as strong as we needed to be in the fourth and fifth position,” Hipp said. “That hurt us pretty significantly in the team standings. We need to get things together to work on team depth if we want to have success. In Loyola the difference between our first and fifth position was around 1:05 while here at Bradley the difference between first and fifth position was a 1:43. That difference probably cost us around 80 to 100 points, in the standings that can be around six to seven team spots.”

Illinois State would go on to win the Bradley Classic in the 23 team field while Sarah Hudak from Alabama at Birmingham, would go on to win the individual honors with a time of 20:40.