Sat, Aug. 27, 2005 - [Men's Cross Country]
Rensselaer, Ind. - Led by sophomore Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington), the Saint Xavier University men's cross country team opened up its season Friday at the Puma Invitational at St Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind, with a second-place overall finish in the four-team meet. Host St. Joseph's won the 5K meet with 27 points, while SXU tallied 40 points and Robert Morris College (Ill.) and Calumet College of St. Joseph's (Ind.) finished third (53 points) and fourth (113 points), respectively. Overall, the Cougars boasted the meet's top harrier in Bugarin. The sophomore led the field with an impressive time of 16:00 over the 5K course. He was followed by an talented freshmen corps of Cougars led by Arturs Bareikis (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) in fifth with a time of 16:44. Other SXU finishers included: Maciej Demaj (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) at 16:51 (eighth place), Ronald Lavaire (Shelbyville, Ill./Shelbyville) at 17:21 (12th place), and Alex Walker (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill./Huntley) at 17:52 (16th place). "I knew that (Joe) King (the second-place runner from St. Joseph's) was tough," said Bugarin. "To have a chance to win, I knew that I had to force the finishing pace a bit earlier than I might have chosen, but it worked!" "Overall, I was satisfied with our performance," said SXU head men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "Steven's time was very impressive this early, given the warm, humid conditions in which we ran today. I believe that there were some first-race jitters among our freshmen, and we must work hard to bring down the gaps between our runners. However, for a first race, I can see many positives." The Cougars stay close to home for its next meet on Saturday, September 3, running at Horseshoe Bend in Palos Park, Ill., against a formidable field that includes: Loyola (Ill.), University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Chicago State University (Ill.). The meet kicks off at 11 a.m. and will feature a 4.1 mile course.