Cross Country: Wildcats run to successful weekend at Big Ten Championships


Source: Northwestern Athletics

Sarah Nicholson runs. The sophomore and the Wildcats placed 8th at Big Ten Championships on Sunday.

Alison Albelda, Reporter

Cross Country

After weeks of competing in large fields, the Big Ten Championship’s smaller pack was key for Northwestern this weekend.

No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Michigan and No. 17 Wisconsin were among the 13 teams the Wildcats faced this weekend on Indiana’s home course. As has become customary, NU’s top sophomores excelled at the meet, with Aubrey Roberts finishing 6th with a time of 20:26 to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors, and Sarah Nicholson coming in 31st with a time of 21:17.

The Cats placed 8th in Bloomington out of 14 teams with 227 points, just 5 points ahead of the 9th place finisher, Purdue.

Roberts — who placed 12th at last year’s at Big Ten Championships — said the race this weekend was a good test of the team’s fitness. She said NU was hoping for a higher finish, but plans on using its placing as motivation for the NCAA Regionals meet in two weeks.

“I was pretty satisfied with my place,” Roberts said. “I was hoping to be First Team in the Big Ten, which is the (overall) top seven (finishers). It was pretty exciting to be part of the lead group … and I’m glad I ended up in the First Team slot.”

After Roberts and Nicholson, the next finisher for the Cats was senior Isabel Seidel at 21:49. Seniors Haley Albers and Sara Coffey followed close behind at 22:10 and 22:26. Freshman Hannah Tobin came in sixth at 22:28, and senior Andrea Ostenso rounded off the top seven NU runners with a finish of 22:31.

Led by Roberts and Nicholson, NU placed ninth at last year’s Big Ten Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Coach ‘A Havahla Haynes praised the team’s overall performance.

“The team handled the terrain well,” Haynes said. “It was rolling but every hill had a return, every up had a nice down, which makes it fair. They’ve seen an easy course, a hard course and a fair course and we’ve gotten better over the entirety of the season. That bodes well for us heading to Iowa State.”

Haynes added that the small race size of about 100 runners helped the athletes see where they stood, allowing them to visualize their places in proximity to competitors and teammates.

Tobin said the team was happy after the weekend, but that they still have more to give.

“The weekend as a whole fuels our fire a little bit; we think we can do better,” Tobin said. “We have to keep that in mind, stay confident, and really show what we got at (NCAA) Regionals.”

Correction: A previous version of this story’s photo caption misstated Northwestern’s finish at Big Ten Championships. The Wildcats placed 8th. The Daily regrets the error.

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