Peoria, Ill. -
The Saint Xavier University men's cross country team traveled to Peoria, Ill., on Saturday, September 10, to take part in the Bradley Open Cross Country Invitational and came home with a sixth-place finish out of the 12 teams in their division. The Bradley Open featured 18 teams and was competed on two separate divisions, NCAA Division I programs and small college programs, which included 12 teams from the NCAA- II, NCAA- III, NAIA and junior college levels.
The Cougars also finished 10th overall out of the all 18 teams participating in the meet. Sophomore Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington) led SXU across the finish line for the third straight week with a 28th-place finish overall among the 140 runners. Bugarin turned in a time of 26:47 over the 8,000-meter course. Following Bugarin was the freshmen corps of Saint Xavier University runners, led by Mike Demaj (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) in 60th place overall at 27:34, Arturs Bareikis (Oak Forest, Ill./Tinley Park) in 69th place with 27:53, Ronald Lavaire (Shelbyville, Ill./Shelbyville) in 79th place with 28:12 and Alex Walker (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill./Huntley) in 112th place at 29:29.
SIU-Edwardsville won the small college division with 24 points. They were followed by Rend Lake College, the defending Junior College national champions, with 63 points. Greenville College (Ill.) was third with 80 points; Elmhurst College (Ill.) in fourth with 148, followed by Olivet Nazarene with 155. The Cougars had 160 points and finished ahead of Lincoln College (178), Monmouth College (188), St. Ambrose University (242), Morton College (251), Illinois Central College (255) and Illinois College (315), respectively.
"I have very mixed emotions concerning our performance this weekend," said SXU head men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "Bugarin had a fine overall performance, but I felt our times, as a whole, were not quite what I would have expected. The heat and humidity definitely was an important factor, as was the fact that this was our first 8K race of the season and the first-ever for our freshmen."
The Cougars travel to South Bend, Ind., on Friday, September 16, to compete in the 39-team National Catholic Collegiate Championships hosted by the University of Notre Dame at Burke Memorial Golf Course, which will take off for the men at 5 p.m.View complete meet results.