The Daily Northwestern

Cross Country: Wildcats to compete at 80th anniversary of historic race

Sarah+Nicholson+%28left-center%29+and+Aubrey+Roberts+%28right-center%29+round+a+turn.+The+two+sophomores+will+lead+Northwestern+this+weekend+at+the+Cowboy+Jamboree.
Sarah Nicholson (left-center) and Aubrey Roberts (right-center) round a turn. The two sophomores will lead Northwestern this weekend at the Cowboy Jamboree.

Sarah Nicholson (left-center) and Aubrey Roberts (right-center) round a turn. The two sophomores will lead Northwestern this weekend at the Cowboy Jamboree.

Source: Northwestern Athletics

Source: Northwestern Athletics

Sarah Nicholson (left-center) and Aubrey Roberts (right-center) round a turn. The two sophomores will lead Northwestern this weekend at the Cowboy Jamboree.

Alison Albelda, Reporter

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Cross Country


Northwestern will celebrate the 80th running of the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday — the oldest consistently held cross country meet in the nation.

The race, hosted by Oklahoma State, will see the Wildcats compete in a six-kilometer race for the first time this season. NU will challenge Big Ten foe No. 12 Penn State, alongside ranked opponents No. 22 Missouri and the No. 25 Cowboys.

Coach ‘A Havahla Haynes said in an August news release that despite limited Big Ten competition, she chose to have the team compete in the Cowboy Jamboree against elite competition in hopes of acquiring points for regionals and nationals.

Sophomore Aubrey Roberts, who finished fourth individually at last season’s NCAA Midwest Regionals, said the extensive time since the Cats’ previous race on Sept. 2 allowed the team to challenge itself in workouts. She said she is looking to this race as a barometer of the team’s progress.

“The team is definitely a lot stronger than last year, so I’m really excited for us,” Roberts said. “I think we’ve got a lot in store.”

NU opened its season this month at the Flyers/Flames Invite hosted by Illinois-Chicago. Led by first and second place finishes from Roberts and sophomore Sarah Nicholson respectively, the Cats dominated the 4K race with their top seven runners all finishing in the top 15.

At the meet, NU took down in-state competitors DePaul, Northern Illinois and UIC.

The Cats took ninth at the Big Ten Championship last fall, the best conference meet finish for NU since 2012. With fewer meets this year than last year, the team has more time to focus on training for larger events like Big Tens, NCAA Regionals and potentially NCAA Nationals, said Nicholson, a top-20 finisher at Regionals last fall.

The extra time between races has helped the Cats figure out their group dynamic, Nicholson added. She said she looks forward to the team challenging itself this year.

“We have a shot of putting ourselves in the conversation as far as qualifying for nationals,” Nicholson said. “The amount of depth we have (as a team) is … going to be one of our biggest advantages going into more important meets.”

Email: alisonalbelda2021@u.northwestern.edu

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