Bourbonnais, Ill. - Led by a second place individual finish by junior Amy Poull (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), the No. 19 ranked Saint Xavier University women's cross country team claimed the 2008 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) championship Saturday securing an automatic berth at the 2008 NAIA National Cross Country Championships. All seven Cougar runners, who will represent the team at the national meet, placed among the top 15 individual finishers, which earned them all-conference recognition. The team finished the conference meet Saturday with a team score of 28 points, just 13 points off a perfect team score of 15. In addition, head coach Lisa Ebel was named the 2008 CCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year following the championship meet.
Poull finished the 5K course (5,000 meters) in a time of 19:47 despite extremely windy conditions. Not far behind Poull were freshmen Alyssa Driscoll (Marion, Iowa/Xavier), and Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Catholic Central), sophomore Jade Braden (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) and junior Lauren Dentzman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont). The pack finished within the fifth through eighth place spots with times of 19:53, 19:57, 19:58 and 19:58, respectively. Rounding out the top seven finishers for Saint Xavier were junior Amanda Janosz (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) in 11th place with a time of 20:13 and sophomore Dana Eppley (Palos Heights, Ill./Shepard) in 13th place at 20:40.
"This was a great performance by our team and our top five runners all finished within 11 seconds of one another," said Ebel. "I'm really excited to see what we are capable of achieving at the national meet in two weeks. Our team has worked extremely hard to get to this point, but I still feel that our best performance is yet to come."
Saint Xavier heads to the 2008 NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 22, at the Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course in Kenosha, Wis. The women's race is set to kick off at 10:30 a.m.Click here for the CCAC Meet results