Oct. 31, 2009
ATHENS, Ohio -
Freshman Courtney Oldenburg and sophomore Nancy Nieto led the Northern Illinois women's cross country team for the sixth-straight weekend, as the Huskies raced past competition to finish eighth at the Mid-American Conference Championships in Athens, Ohio Saturday.
Northern Illinois finished the race with 218 points to place eighth at the MAC Championships. Miami (44), Toledo (63), Akron (104), Central Michigan (116), Kent State (143), Eastern Michigan (157), Bowling Green (212) finished ahead of the Huskies.
"It was the best race of the year," assistant women's cross country coach Mark McConeghey said. "Some of our girls stepped up and ran really well today. It was raining all day and it was really muddy but the girls were able to push through it to run a great race."
Oldenburg (West Salem, Wis./West Salem) led NIU with a six-kilometer time of 23:41.6 to finish first for the Huskies, a 27th-place mark overall. Nieto (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood/Missouri State) followed closely behind Oldenburg, finishing the race in a 34th-place time of 23:54.8, taking second for the Huskies.
Sunsea Shaw (South Bend, Ind./Riley High School), Nancy Maritim (Kericho, Kenya/AIC Litein) and Breanna Brevitt (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) rounded out the top-five performers for NIU. Shaw completed the race in a time of 24:02.3 to take third for the Huskies, while Maritim ran a 24:17.4 to take home fourth for NIU. Placing fifth, Brevitt completed the race in a time of 25:02.
Heather Childs (Elmhurst, Ill./Downers Grove North/University of Tampa), Amanda Trancoso (Rock Falls, Ill./Newman Catholic) and Jackie Sciacero (Sterling, Ill./Sterling/Sauk Valley C.C.) also represented NIU at the championships. Childs crossed the finish line in a time of 26:53.9, while Trancoso finished in a time of 28:12.2 and Sciacero ran the race in a time of 31:27.
"All in all it was a really great race today," said McConeghey. "There was only one minute and 20 seconds between our first and fifth-place runners and we finished just six points shy of seventh place. This was the best race of the year."