The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Women’s XC has ‘best week of training’ before Redbird Invite

The women’s cross-country team for Eastern is looking to continue their winning streak at the Illinois State Redbird Invitational on Friday.

The Panthers won the Walt Crawford open last week with a commanding performance from senior Mackenzie Aldridge.

Aldridge finished with a 5K time of 18.09.20; a full 14.8 seconds before second place, Indiana State’s Emma Gresham. 

Alongside Aldridge, the Panthers had the following five runners finish in the top 10: freshman Bella Marcum (18:47.60), freshman Brenda Torres (18:53.00), junior Kylie Haacke (18:59.80), senior Sarah Carr at (19:03.90) and junior Alex Gomez (19:16.10). 

With such success in the previous meet, the runners feel like there’s an air of confidence around the team.

“We’re feeling really confident in our practices, our hard workouts, we’re really getting out there,” Marcum said. “We’re feeling really strong, We’re definitely ready.”

Coach Erin Howarth also picked up on the aura around the team this week.

“I think the confidence is high, and I think we know where our weaknesses are and we’re addressing them,” Howarth said.

Torres discussed the state of the team after this week.

“We have a really strong group of girls,” Torres said. “We have really strong packs and I think that’ll be our main weapon.” 

The team reportedly had a very successful week of training going into the Redbird Invite.

“This was our best week of training, by far,” Howarth said. “I know we only had a few weeks, but we just became a new team this week in my mind… The women are looking very strong and very committed. The thing that I love the best about this team is just the energy they share with each other and what they give to each other to be better.” 

Marcum and Torres spoke on how the team has been focusing on getting an early start.

“We’ve focused on getting out hard, getting out early, so we can set our places early on in the race,” Marcum said.

“We’ve been really focusing on making sure that we’re comfortable with getting out hard, that was kind of our weakness at our first meet,” Torres said.

The consensus from the week is that all runners have improved and are building from the last race.

“I would definitely say with each race we’re getting better,” Marcum said.

The women’s team finished in fifth place in the Redbird Invite last year behind Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Wartburg, and Butler.

With a win last meet and a productive week of practice, the cross-country team is looking to place higher this year. 

The Illinois State Redbird Invite is taking place in Normal, IL at 5 p.m. at the Weibring Golf Course.

Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest