The Saint Xavier University men's cross country team stayed close to home this weekend participating in the Sean Earl Invitational hosted by Loyola University at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. The Cougars finished in 13th place overall among the 25 teams taking part in the meet, which featured a number of NCAA Division I through NAIA schools from around the nation.
For the Cougars, Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington) led the way once again with a 19th place overall finish among 263 runners and a fine time of 26:33 over the demanding 8K course. Next for Saint Xavier was freshman Maciej Demaj (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) in 69th place with a time of 27:58. The next SXU runner to finish was freshman Arturs Bareikis (Oak Forest, Ill./Tinley Park) at No. 72 with a time of 28:01. Rounding out the team for Saint Xavier was freshman Ronald Lavaire (Shelbyville, Ill./Shelbyville) in 94th place with a time of 28:28 and freshman Alex Walker (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill./Huntley) in 156th place with a time of 29:53.
"Overall, this wasn't the best team race that we have had this season," said SXU head men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "Bugarin probably ran his best race of the season thus far. This is a very demanding course, so the times were expectedly slower than they had been. However, we are not sufficiently cutting the gap to the remaining runners. This is our biggest dilemma and obviously our goal. I have a large number of freshmen and their inexperience at the distance is still a concern."
The Cougars have a long trek to Carbondale, Ill., this weekend to take part in the Saluki Invitational at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 8. Saint Xavier is the lone NAIA team competing among 16 top NCAA squads throughout the Midwest.View meet results.