Kenosha, Wis. - Paced by a 73rd place individual finish by junior Amy Poull (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), the No. 19 ranked Saint Xavier University women's cross country team lived up to its national ranking by finishing No. 19 out of 32 teams at the 2008 NAIA Cross Country Championships at Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course Saturday in Kenosha, Wis. The Cougars had their top five finishers complete the 5K (5,000 meters) race within 26 seconds of one another and their top seven finishers all fell within a minute. The team performance bodes well for the future of the program with all seven of the top runners from this year's squad returning for the 2009 campaign.
Poull finished Saturday's race in a personal-best time of 19:06, 20 seconds faster than her previous personal-best. Cutting 45 seconds off her previous best 5K time, junior Amanda Janosz (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) ran an inspired race at the national meet by finishing 77th overall with a time of 19:10. Junior Lauren Dentzman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) clocked in third for SXU in 104th place individually at 19:26, while freshman Alyssa Driscoll (Marion, Iowa/Xavier) was right behind her at 107th with a time of 19:27. Sophomore Jade Braden (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) wrapped up the team finishers for the Cougars in 116th place at 19:32. Freshman Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Catholic Central) and sophomore Dana Eppley (Palos Heights, Ill./Shepard) also ran well in Saturday's meet finishing in 137th and 158th place, respectively, with times of 19:46 and 20:06. As a whole, the team dropped 38 seconds off its previous best team time of the 2008 season.
"This was far and away our best team performance of the season," said Saint Xavier University women's cross country coach Lisa Ebel. "The thing that thrills me the most is that all seven of our top runners from this year's team are returning to run next season. This group has been a joy to work with all year and I am glad they got to finish their season on such a high note."Click here for NAIA National Championships meet results