Cross Country: Cats fall short at Big Ten Championships on home course


Tucker Johnson/The Daily Northwestern

Rachel Weathered competes at the Big Ten Championships in Chicago. The senior rounded out the pack for the Wildcats, who finished 12th out of 14 teams at the meet.

Ellie Friedmann, Reporter

Cross Country

The Wildcats finished 12th out of 14 teams Sunday at the 2015 Big Ten Championships, falling short of their goal to break into the top 10.

Northwestern hosted the competition at the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course in Chicago, a new course which none of the runners had stepped foot on before. Of 122 runners in the field, NU’s top finisher, senior Elena Barham, placed 48th and posted a time of 21 minutes, 17.2 seconds for the 6-kilometer distance. Of NU’s consistent top three finishers this season, Barham was the only one to score points for the Cats at Big Tens.

Junior Jena Pianin was out of commission due to injury, and senior Rachel Weathered, who has posted fast, consistent performances all season, struggled during the race, becoming the eighth and final finisher on the NU roster.

Sophomores Brooke Pigneri and Sara Coffey picked up the slack, finishing second and third for NU and only a second apart from each other, racing 22:19.3 and 22:20.4, respectively. Freshman Mary Orders and senior Allison Jacobsen rounded out the top five for NU.

Though the underclassmen on the team stepped up to take spots two through four on the team, the Cats didn’t have enough depth Sunday to compete with the teams they were looking to pace themselves with, like 10th-place finisher Iowa. The Cats, who scored 364 points in the meet, beat out Nebraska and Rutgers, who tied for 13th with 369 points each.

Though the Cats’ veteran runners have experienced difficulties the second half of this season, the team has an optimistic future with strong freshmen and sophomore runners who will continue to build their relationship with new coach ‘A Havahla Haynes.

The next and final meet of the season for the Cats, unless they qualify for the NCAA National Championships, will be the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, which take place Nov. 13 at the University of Kansas-Lawrence.

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