Four Redbirds named to MVC’s varsity cross-country team


ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Valley Conference announced that four Illinois State student-athletes have been named to the 2021 MVC Cross Country College Athlete Team, both for their classroom performance and at the MVC Championships. Cross Country, as announced by the league office on Saturday.

Ailey mitchell is a member of the MVC researcher-athlete team for the first time. At the 2021 MVC Championships, Mitchell paced the ‘Birds with an eighth place finish to win All-MVC honors. She also maintained a GPA of 3.36 as a major in Biological Sciences.

For the third time in his career, junior Rachel hickey was named to MVC’s research-athlete team, earning the honor in each of the three years she was eligible. Hickey landed a 14th place finish at the MVC Championships, earning All-MVC Honorable Mention honors. She maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA as a double major in Marketing and Journalism. Hickey has previously been named to the 2019 and 2020-21 MVC Researcher-Athlete Teams.

On the men’s side, Charlie wetzel was named for the first time in his career to the MVC student-athlete team. Wetzel paced the Redbird Men at the MVC Championships, finishing 13th overall to win All-MVC Honorable Mention honors. Wetzel is a major in intermediate level education, and he maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA

Junior Matt Blanco was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete team for the second time in his Redbird career. Blanco finished 15th at the MVC Championships, earning All-MVC Honorable Mention honors. Blanco is a major in Physical Education and maintains a GPA of 3.38. Previously, he was named to the MVC 2020-21 Researcher-Athlete Team.

Members of the MVC Scholar-Athlete team must finish in the top 20 runners in the conference championship, have a GPA of 3.30 or higher, be in their second year at the athletic and academic level, as well as complete an academic year in their current establishment.


The Redbirds are back in action Friday, Nov. 12 at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Iowa City, Iowa. Action at Ashton Burke Golf Course is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am CT.

For all the latest news on Redbird athletics and cross country, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. and the Illinois State Redbirds App: Your sources for Illinois State Notes, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund giveaways, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.


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