GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. - The Northern Illinois cross country team finished in 11th place Saturday morning at the MAC Championships in Grand Island, N.Y.
The Huskies totaled 277 points on the day, beating out Western Michigan in the final standings. Toledo won the women's title for the fifth consecutive year, beating out Miami (Ohio) and Ohio for the conference crown.
"Today's performance was well below our expectations and our capabilities," said NIU head coach Greg Hipp. "We have made tremendous improvements all season and to run as we did today is tough to handle. I'm confident our program will reach great levels soon, (but) we just have to bring out level of confidence and toughness to the same level as our fitness."
Senior Courtney Oldenburg paced the Huskie pack with a time of 22:17.60 and a 20th place finish. Her performance was 31 positions and nearly 40 seconds better than at the 2011 MAC Championships in Muncie, Ind.
However, sophomore Jamie Burr was the only other NIU runner to place in the top half of the field. The Onalaska, Wis., native crossed the finish line in 47th place at a time of 22:49.70.
Taking third among Northern's contingent was Ali Olson, who took 69th place with a time of 23:24.20. Rounding out the top five for the Huskies were Clarie McAuley and Juliane Totzke. McAuley claimed 76th place with a time of 23:37.30, while Totzke was 91st at 24:11.80.
Katie Janssen ran a 24:31.30 to take 97th place and freshman Hannah Savage was 98th at 24:35.90. Meanwhile, Alexis Capps took 100th at a time of 24:39.80.
The Huskies will host the inaugural Huskie Open Community Run Friday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m. on the NIU North 40. Information and registration can be found online at NIUHuskies.com.
The team continues their postseason competition in two weeks when they head to Springfield, Mo., for the 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 9. The meet begins at noon on the Missouri State Cross Country Course.