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Nationally Ranked Teams
|#5 Michigan||#2 Michigan|
|#19 Michigan State||#15 Penn State|
|#27 Wisconsin||#21 Michigan State|
|#28 Indiana||#22 Minnesota|
|Illinios (RV)||#30 Purdue|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Chicago, Ill. for the 2015 Big Ten Cross Country Championships this Sunday, Nov. 1. This will be the final competition for the Nittany Lions before the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Nov. 13.
The 2015 Big Ten Cross Country Championships are hosted by the Northwestern University and will be contested on the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course in Chicago, Illinois. The men’s race will start at 11:45 a.m. ET, while the women’s race will begin one hour later at 12:45 p.m. ET.
The Penn State women are competing against four ranked teams, including No. 2 Michigan. In addition to No. 2 Michigan, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 22 Minnesota, and No. 30 Purdue make up the ranked teams competing in the women's race.
The Penn State women already recorded wins over No. 21 Michigan State, No. 22 Minnesota a few weeks ago at the Wisconsin Adidas Invite.
On the men's side, four teams enter the competition ranked. Along with No. 5 Michigan, Michigan State (19), Wisconsin (27) and Indiana (28) head into the weekend ranked.
Last Time Out
The then-No. 16 Nittany Lion women’s cross country team placed two runners inside the top-50 with Tori Gerlach leading the way with a 32nd-place finish clocking 20:20.7 at the seventh annual Wisconsin Adidas Invite in Madison, Wisconsin.
The top-Big Ten team at the meet, Penn State claimed victories over No. 13 Michigan State, No. 14 Wisconsin, and No. 23 Minnesota.
Gerlach was followed by Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.)(49th/20:30.0), Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.)(65th/20:39.5), Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.)(77th/20:46.1), and Julie Kocjancic (Pittsburgh, Pa.)(129th/21:16.3) to round out scoring for the Nittany Lions.
The Lions were as high as 7th-place as a team through 2-kiliomoters of the 6-kilometer race.
For the men, Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.)(107th/24:29.1) would lead the way over the 8-kilometer course.
Rounding out the scoring for Penn State would be Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.)(137th/24:39.2),Conner Quinn (Horsham, Pa.)(146th/24:43.7), Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.)(179th/24:58.5), and Ean DiSilvio(Pittsburgh, Pa.)(203rd/25:13.8).
Last Year at the Big Ten Championships
The Penn State women’s cross country team posted a seventh-place finish at the 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Championships at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City, Iowa. Leading the charge for the Nittany Lion women was Elizabeth Chikotas.
Chikotas, who went on to place 15th, was just two seconds back of posting a Second Team All-Big Ten finish. She went on to complete the 6,000-meter course in a time of 20 minutes, 29.7 seconds. Chikotas was in 14th-place at the 3,000-meter split (10:02.30).
Seventeen seconds after Chiktoas crossed the finish line, another true freshman, Jillian Hunsberger posted a 24th-place finish (20:46.0). Chikotas and Hunsberger were the top-two true freshmen to complete the 6k race.
Senior Katie Rodden (Ardmore, Pa.) was the third Nittany Lion to finish the race, as she ran a time of 21:02.8 to place 33rd.
Tori Gerlach and Lauren Mills (West Chester, Pa.) finished 39th (21:08.5) and 73rd (21:49.9), respectively to round out the Nittany Lion scoring.
Behind a pair of top-15 finishes, the Penn State men's cross country team finished third at the 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Championships. The Nittany Lions edged No. 20 Indiana by a score of 92-95.
Fifth-year senior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion contingent as he completed the 8,000-meter course in 23 minutes, 52.8 seconds to finish eighth. Joining Fischer in the top-15 was Glen Burkhardt (Kennett Square, Pa.). Burkhardt finished 11th with his time of 23:55.8. Both Fischer and Burkhardt garnered Second Team All-Big Ten honors for their efforts.
Less than fifteen seconds after Burkhardt crossed the finish line, Wade Endress posted a 19th-place finish with his time of 24:09.5. Six spots later, true freshman Anthony Russell(West Chester, Pa.) clocked in at 24:15.3 to place 25th. Robby Creese rounded out the scoring for the Nittany Lions as he finished 29th (24:20.3).
The Penn State women's cross country team enters this weekend ranked No. 15 in the national coaches' polls. The women are ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic Region, while the men are sixth.
The Nittany Lions do not compete next weekend as they prepare for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Nov. 13. Penn State will travel to Princeton, N.J. for the 2015 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. The women's 6k is set for noon and the men's 10k is slated for a 1 p.m. start.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.