Palos Hills, Ill. -Led
by a stellar fourth-place performance by freshman Brian Corcoran (Chicago,
Ill./Brother Rice) in his collegiate debut, the Saint Xavier University men's
cross country team opened its 2010 season at Horsetail Slough in Palos Hills, Ill.,
at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Opener. The Cougars finished third among the five
schools in attendance with host UIC capturing the team title with 31 points. The remaining teams competing Saturday were University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Wis.) with 41, SXU with 54, University of Wisconsin-Green
Bay (Wis.) with 107 and Chicago State University (Ill.) with 133.
Brian Denk of Illinois-Chicago was the individual champion, traversing the 4.1 mile course in a time of 20:41. Corcoran led the Cougars across the finish line with his fourth- place finish at 20:58. He was closely followed by junior Matt Rychel (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) in eighth place with a time of 21:16 and freshman Izak Velasquez (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) in 10th place with a 21:23 clocking. Other top SXU finishers included freshman Chris Shellenberger (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) in 15th place at 21:34, freshman Shane Kenney (Porter, Ind./Chesterton) in 17th place at 21:42, senior Roy Witty (Mount Greenwood, Ill./Marist) in 18th place at 21:44 and freshman Chris Sarna in 19th place at 21:49 .
"It was a good start," remarked Saint Xavier University men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "Times today were much better than in 2009 and I felt that we packed up well, especially early in the race. Our freshmen adjusted to the extended college distance easily and I was particularly impressed with Brian Corcoran's competitive drive. He will be a great runner."
SXU faces defending CCAC champion Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) among other NAIA powers this weekend at the Midwest Classic taking place at the Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bourbonnais on Friday, September 10. The men's race is scheduled to take place at 5:45 p.m.