A strong women's elite field is set for the Bix 7 this weekend

Three of the elite runners in the women’s field are from Illinois. The best known of them is Chelsea Blaase, who is from the small town of St. Joseph near Champaign and had a great career at the University of Tennessee. She was fifth in the NCAA 10,000 meters in 2016 and seventh in 2017 as well as placing fifth in the Bix 7 last year. Kelly McShea, from Lisle, ran collegiately at Illinois State and Kristen Heckert, who lives in Bolingbrook and teaches algebra at Plainfield South High School, competed at Illinois-Chicago. The women’s runner who has had the most past success in the Bix is Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, who won the race in 2011 and has placed in the top three on three occasions since then. She is not the only woman in the field who has run well on the streets of Davenport, however. Margaret Muriuki won the race the only previous time she ran it (in 2012), Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba was second in 2013 and Monicah Ngige has a pair of top-10 Bix finishes on her resume.Sydney Devore had a highly successful high school cross country career in Lakeland, Florida, but gave up running after suffering an injury as a freshman at the University of Florida. She resumed her career in 2015 and at the age of 26, is now an up and coming competitor on the U.S. scene. She attempted a marathon for the first time earlier this year and won, turning in the fastest time in four years at the Pittsburgh Marathon.

posted Wednesday July 25th