Cross Country: Northwestern heads to Nebraska for Big Ten Championships

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Cross Country: Northwestern heads to Nebraska for Big Ten Championships

Sarah Nicholson runs. The cross country team is on route to championships

Sarah Nicholson runs. The cross country team is on route to championships

Source: Northwestern Athletics

Sarah Nicholson runs. The cross country team is on route to championships

Source: Northwestern Athletics

Source: Northwestern Athletics

Sarah Nicholson runs. The cross country team is on route to championships

Alison Albeda, Assistant Photo Editor

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Northwestern will spend Halloween weekend doing something neither spooky nor scary — racing Sunday at Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Wildcats will race on Nebraska’s home course against a field that includes No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Indiana and No. 11 Wisconsin. The race marks the beginning of championship season for NU and will see the Cats compete in their third 6K of the season.

NU placed eighth in Bloomington, Indiana, at last year’s conference championship, paced by then-sophomores Aubrey Roberts and Sarah Nicholson. Roberts placed sixth with a time of 20:26.3, and Nicholson came in 31st with a time of 21:17.3 last October.

Roberts clinched third place at the Cats’ last meet, the NCAA Pre-Nationals two weeks ago. She came in at a fast 20:10.0, less than seven seconds behind the winner, Jessica Hull from Oregon.

Last week, Roberts was named Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week following that stellar performance. It was the first weekly award for a Wildcats runner since Elena Barham five years ago.

The freshmen will need to continue providing key support for Roberts and Nicholson to ensure success in Lincoln. Both Sielle Kearney and Rachel McCardell have had breakout seasons so far, finishing in 83th and 116th place, respectively, as the Cats’ third and fourth runners at the last meet.

The Cats are currently ranked in fifth in the region, one spot below their position last week. NU will fight to beat Ohio State, who edged them out by 25 points at NCAA Pre-Nationals, and compete against other nationally ranked teams of No. 13 Penn State and No. 14 Michigan State.

Email: alisonalbeda2021@u.northwestern.edu

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