The Saint Xavier University men's cross country team stayed close to home Saturday competing in the Sean Earl Invitational sponsored by Loyola University at Montrose Avenue Harbor in Chicago. The Cougars were placed in the elite Gold Division against the top collegiate teams in the nation and finished 18th among the 20 squads in the Gold Division, which was won by Grand Valley State University (Mich.).
Leading the way for SXU was junior Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington) in 48th place among the 195 runners participating in the 8,000-meter (8K) event with a time of 26:13. Bugarin was followed by freshman John Neisler (Armington, Ill./Olympia) at No. 138 in 28:24, sophomore Maciej Demaj (Lockport, Ill./Reavis) in 146th place at 28:35, freshman Eli Hoffman (Mount Morris, Ill./Oregon) in 148th place in 28:44, freshman Manny Gonzalez (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) in 159th with a time of 28:59, and finally freshman Matt Miller (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn) in 168th place at 29:27. "While the overall placing did not appear great, I believe that this is the first meet that the team started to move significantly forward," remarked SXU head men's coach Ed McAllister. "Bugarin ran his usual strong race and the emergence of John and the pack that is emerging finally gives me reason to be confident in our upcoming meets." The Cougars will make the long trek to Marion, Ind., to take part in the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday, October 7. The meet will begin at 11:30 a.m. and pits Saint Xavier against 18 other top-level NAIA teams.View Meet Results