Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Kusche Finishes Third at Big Ten Championships

By NU Athletic Communications

The Nebraska cross country teams hosted the Big Ten Championships on Sunday at the Mahoney Golf Course. George Kusche set a Nebraska record at the Big Ten Championships, placing third, the highest a Husker has ever finished at the meet.

Kusche was the story of the day, finishing in third place with a personal-best time of 23:39.0. His third-place finish was the best finish ever by a Husker at the Big Ten Championships and earned him first-team All-Big Ten accolades. The previous best finish by a Nebraska runner was 10th, set by Wyatt McGuire at the championships last season.

“I had no idea it was the highest finish ever by a Nebraska individual at the Big Ten Championships,” Kusche said. “It felt good. Before the race I told myself, I am going to give it my all. I am very thankful for everything Nebraska has done for me and I am very satisfied with the race.”

Mark Freyhof was the second Husker to cross the finish line and placed 18th with a time of 24:10.0. Freyhof’s finish was a 29-place improvement from last season and a new PR this season. Bailey Timmons was the third Husker to cross the finish line and placed 50th with a time of 24:56.4. Jordan De Spong and Myles Fleming both ran personal-bests in the 8K and finished 53rd (24:58.7) and 69th (25:12.0), respectively.

“I know George (Kusche) was going for single digits,” Harris said. “He was going for the win! It is important that he has that mindset… he had the perfect race plan. Mark Freyhof improved from (47th) to 18th. I don’t think there is another guy in the whole field that improved that much. That is tremendous when you have a guy who goes like that. It feels good to have the 1-2 punch.”

Judi Jones paced the women’s squad with a PR time of 21:06.6 to finish 37th. Erika Freyhof was 46th and clocked a time of 21:26.2. Elsa Forsberg placed 55th and ran a personal-best time of 21:41.7. Rachel Brush (22:09.6) and Kaitlynn Johnson rounded out the top five for the Big Red, placing 72nd (22:09.6) and 94th (22:47.8), respectively. Johnson’s time was also a personal-best in the 6K.

“I have been waiting for Judi (Jones) to make a big jump and today she did,” Harris said. This was the day that she put her race together and led our team. She was having an awesome week of training and told me she felt really good… she really put it together today.”

As a team, the men’s squad finished the 8K in eighth place with 179 total points. The women placed 11th in the 6K with 283 points. Both teams had a one spot improvement from their finishes at the 2017 Big Ten Championships.

Nebraska will now turn their attention to the NCAA Regionals. The NCAA Regionals will take place on Friday, November 9 at Peoria, Illinois.

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