Kenosha, Wis. - Making its first team appearance at the NAIA Cross Country Championships since 1998, the Saint Xavier University women's cross country team finished 20th among the nation's top 29 teams Saturday at the 2007 NAIA Championships at Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course in Kenosha, Wis. The Cougars finished with a team score of 475 points under second-year coach Lisa Ebel and finished three spots higher than conference and region rival, Olivet Nazarene University (No. 23 with 511 points).
The Cougars had a combined team time of 1:37:16, a full 40 seconds faster than its previous team-best time. Sophomore Lauren Dentzman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) finished the 5,000-meter (5K) course with a team-best time of 18:53 to secure her 70th place finish among the 268 runners who finished the meet. Sophomore Amy Poull (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), freshman Kelly Malone (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley), and freshman Dana Eppley (Palos Heights, Ill./Shepard) all finished within five seconds of one another with times of 19:30 (No. 135), 19:32 (No. 141), and 19:35 (No. 148), respectively. Freshman Jade Braden (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) crossed the finish line next for the Cougars in 171st place with a time of 19:46 to wrap up the team scoring. Also representing Saint Xavier at the national meet were sophomores Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) and Amanda Janosz (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg).
"This has been an unbelievable season for our team," said Ebel. "We accomplished everything that we set out to do at the beginning of the year and, as a coach, there is nothing more you can ask for from your team. I am extremely proud of every one of my runners and I hope they use this experience as continued motivation for next season."
Following a brief break, many runners from the 2007 Saint Xavier University women's cross country team will begin training for the upcoming 2008 indoor track & field season, which begins in mid-January.Click here to see the individual results from the NAIA Cross Country Championships