Cross Country: Northwestern looks to continue momentum


Graduate student Rachel McCardell competes at a cross country meet.

Iris Swarthout, Senior Staffer

Northwestern looks to continue its momentum from last season powered by the return of seniors Kalea Bartolotto and Olivia Verbeke. 

The Wildcats finished seventh in the 2021 Big Ten Cross Country Championship off a 48th-place finish from Bartolotto with a 6,000-meter time of 21:50.7 and a 53rd-place finish for senior Olivia Verbeke, who came in three seconds behind her teammate. 

This fall, the Wildcats will kick off the cross country season in Dekalb, Ill. at the Northern Illinois University Huskie Challenge on September 2 and will travel as far as Oklahoma for the NCAA Regionals in November. The Big Ten Championship will be at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and NU will have a chance to run the course beforehand during the Big Ten Preview in October. 

NU has a number of younger racers who could break out as well. 

Sophomore Fiona Lenth made a debut appearance at the Big Ten Championship coming in 73rd with a time of 22:16.7 for the 6000m. During the 2022 outdoor track season, Lenth ran a speedy 5000m in 17:45 — a personal record for the 16th-place finisher at the Illini Classic. 

Juniors Katherine Hessler and Emily Casaclang also have promise, as this year’s 17:15 and 16:52 5000m track times, respectively, are hot going into the fall. It’s safe to say Lenth, Hessler and Casaclang are not to be ignored this year.

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Twitter: @swarthout_iris

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