Cross Country: NU misses goal at Bradley Classic

Bill Carey

Racing at the Bradley Classic on Friday, Northwestern looked to see where it stood against some of its regional competition.

The race’s results may have left the Wildcats with more questions than answers.

Several NU runners ran season- or career-best times, but the team finished in fifth place, behind four regional rivals including Bradley and Southern Illinois.

NU finished with 182 points, far behind meet champion Wisconsin, which totaled 76 points.

“Our goal was to go after our biggest regional competitors like Bradley and Southern (Illinois), but they’re just not in our reach right now,” coach April Likhite said. “That was a bit disappointing, but at the same time, I feel like our girls ran a great race overall.”

For the third consecutive meet, the Cats were led by Audrey Huth. The freshman took 10th place, covering the 6K course in 22:01, just missing her goal of breaking 22 minutes.

“I’m definitely heading in the right direction of where I want to be,” Huth said. “I had a pretty solid race.”

Huth went out conservatively, sitting well behind the front pack at the one-mile mark. But she continued to move up throughout the race, eventually closing in on the top runners. With only one more tune-up race before the Big Ten championships, NU is planning to let Huth go out faster.

“If anything, what we’re learning with Audrey is we’re holding her back too much in the beginning,” Likhite said. “But she’s really learning to race. She’s ready for it.”

Hallie Busta was the second NU runner across the line for the fifth straight race. Busta finished in 33rd place, running a time of 22:50.

Senior Paulina Garcia was the third NU runner across the line, finishing in 39th place, eight seconds after Busta.

Freshman Allegra Mayer was the fourth NU runner, taking 48th place.

NU ran without sophomore Rachel Kaminski, who had a stress reaction in her sacrum – a bone at the base of the spine and between the hips. The team plans to rest Kaminski and see if she has recovered by the Big Ten championships in two weeks, Likhite said.

Although the Cats fell short of beating their regional competition, the team is still taking away positives from its performance.

“What’s really important right now is for the girls to be walking away from workout and races feeling good and recovering,” Likhite said. “Right now, we’re doing all the right things to help us recover and feel strong.”

[email protected]