Cedar Rapids, Iowa -
In only its second season of competition, the Saint Xavier University men's cross country team, led by head coach Ed McAllister, earned a first-place finish at the 11-team NAIA Region VII Men's Cross Country Championships hosted by Mount Mercy College Saturday at Jones Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Cougars turned in a team-score of 54 points edging out Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), whose men's team finished with 59 points as a team score. In addition, McAllister was named the 2005 NAIA Region VII Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year and sophomore Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington) and freshman Maciej Demaj (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) were named to the 2005 NAIA All-Region Team.
With all five runners on McAllister's roster contributing to the combined team score, Bugarin paced the Cougars in Saturday's race finishing second overall with an impressive time of 27:10 on the 8,000-kilometer course. Demaj followed shortly after with a fifth place finish and a 27:22 clocking. Freshman Arturs Bareikis (Oak Forest, Ill./Tinley Park) was next for Saint Xavier coming across the finish in ninth place with a time of 27:38, while freshman teammate Ronald Lavaire (Shelbyville, Ill./Shelbyville) was next in 11th place at 27:44. Freshman Alex Walker (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill./Huntley) wrapped up the Cougar team score with a 27th place finish at 28:49.
With the first-place finish, Saint Xavier receives an automatic bid to race at the 2005 NAIA 50th Annual Cross Country National Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, November 19. The men's race begins at 10:30 a.m. eastern time.View NAIA Region VII Championships meet results.