Sept. 10, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
The Northern Illinois women's cross country team will host the second-annual Huskie Open, Saturday, at NIU's "North 40". The Huskies will hold both men's and women's cross country races, with the men's eight-kilometer race beginning at 12:15 p.m. and the women's five-kilometer race beginning at 1 p.m..
The Huskies will face racers from UW-Milwaukee, UW- Green Bay, St. Mary's College, Chicago State, Western Illinois, Judson University, Iowa Western CC, and Northwestern. St. Mary's College, Northwestern, and Northern Illinois will not be competing in the men's portion of Saturday's race.
Reflecting on the Huskie Open, assistant coach Mark McConeghey feels there is an advantage to racing at home.
"I think the girls run better here," McConeghey said. "They know the course, they train on it every day. The girls also have more pressure on them when their friends from class and campus are watching them race. I think they just run better on their own turf. They want to defend NIU, and I know they're excited to run at home."
The courses start at the intramural softball field between Anderson Hall and the Engineering Building on the northwest corner of the NIU campus. Athletes will run east along the banks of the Kishwaukee River, and pass Barsema Hall, home of the NIU School of Business, before finishing just to the south of the softball field.
NIU enters Saturday's competition after a fifth-place finish at the Early Bird invitational in Macomb, Ill, Sept. 4. Freshman Courtney Oldenburg (West Salem, Wis./ West Salem) led the Huskies at the Invitational with a fourth-place finish of 23:15 in the six-kilometer race. Juniors Breanna Brevitt (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) and Sunsea Shaw (South Bend, Ind./ Riley) also ran well for the Huskies. Brevitt finished second for the Huskies, with a 19th-place finish, while Shaw cam in third for the Huskies, with a 20th-place finish.
"I expect the girls to improve from last week," said McConeghey. "I expect the other girls to close the gap between their finishes. Between our first and fifth finishers we want to get our times between a minute and under. I have no idea who will win the race, but it'll be very interesting and exciting to watch."
Directions to the course from I-88: Take the Annie Glidden RD/IL-23/IL-38/DeKalb exit. Turn right at Lucinda Avenue Turn left onto Kishwaukee Drive.