McGuire, Smith lead Huskers at B1G Championships
Bloomington, Ind. - The Nebraska cross country team competed at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Sunday, as the Husker men finished ninth, their best finish since joining the conference in 2011. The Husker women finished 12th in the meet, held in Bloomington, Ind., on the IU Championship Cross Country Course.
The men’s team totaled 196 points in the 8K race, while the women’s team accumulated 336 points in the 6K race.
The Husker men were led by junior Wyatt McGuire who placed 10th overall with a time of 24:24.1, as the North Platte, Neb., native earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, becoming the first member of the Nebraska men’s cross country team to be named all-conference since James Bowler earned All-Big 12 honors in 2001. McGuire’s 10th place finish is the best men’s individual finish at the Big Ten Championships.
“Wyatt getting on the podium and having his teammates see him on the podium is a really big step” said Nebraska Head Coach David Harris. “They know how hard Wyatt has worked and if they can emulate that, we can really start to become a very good Big Ten team.”
Senior Peter Spinks followed in 37th with a time of 25:04.3. Redshirt freshman Mark Freyhof finished 47th (25:13.3), freshman Bailey Timmons finished 51st (25:16.6) and sophomore Karson LeComte finished 54th (25:17.7).
“We had a lot of firsts today” said Harris. “It was the first time we ever had a guy go on the podium in 10th overall. That’s quite an achievement. It was the first time in single digits in the men by placing ninth. We have worked up from 11th to 10th to ninth in the last three years.
“What I’m really pleased with is the first time under 200 points in the men’s race. So, we are not far from the elite teams in this conference. We’re getting closer and closer every year. It is going to be exciting to run this meet next year at Nebraska.”
The Huskers women were led by senior Bonnie Smith, who finished 66th with a time of 22:08.5.
“Bonnie Smith ran very good as an individual all year. She is a senior captain and we counted on her every meet to pretty much be the leader and she was.”
Freshman Erika Freyhof followed right behind in 67th with a time of 22:08.8. Sophomore Rachel Brush finished 74th (22:17.1), sophomore Elsa Forsberg finished 77th (22:21.1) and senior Katrina Santiago finished 90th (22:45.9). The women’s team was missing two runners due to illness and injury.
“We’ve moved up,” Harris said. “We’ve been 14th in this league for several years. We got 12th today, it’s kind of what the men did a couple years ago. They moved up and that’s what you have to do in this conference.”
Coach Harris also mentioned the absence of Judi Jones and Lillian Markusch in the women’s race.
“We missed a couple women here. Lillian Markusch and Judi Jones came down with (illness) and injuries in these last two weeks. We could have really used them here to maybe move up even more.”
The journey continues for the Huskers at the NCAA Regionals on Friday, Nov. 10 in Ames, Iowa. The races are set to begin at noon (CT).