Findlay, Ohio - Junior Rachael Dean (Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) qualified for the 2011 NAIA National Indoor Track & Field Championships in two separate events last weekend at the University of Findlay Classic in Findlay, Ohio, to highlight a productive weekend for the Saint Xavier University women's track and field team. Dean first set a school record in the 3000-meter run with an "A" standard time of 10:20:24. Dean then finished the 1600 leg in the Distance Medley Relay (DMR), along with junior teammates Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) and Krista Olenek (Algonquin, Ill/Marian Central Catholic) as well as senior Kelly Malone (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley). The group finished the DMR in a time of 12:48:02, qualifying them with a "B" standard time for the national meet.
Another school record was broken by sophomore Mercedes Mancha (Elgin, Ill./Springwood) in the 3,000-Meter Race Walk with a time of 17:42:62, also qualifying her with an "A" standard time for Nationals. Last season, SXU also had its DMR team qualify for the national meet at this time in the season with a time of 12:48.40, going on to finish 14th overall at the national meet.
"I am so proud of my team," says SXU women's track and field coach Lisa Ebel. "They have worked so hard these last few months to accomplish these goals. This is the first group of qualifiers that we have had for the indoor season and we are hoping to add to this group this weekend."
Saint Xavier heads to Bloomington, Ill., this weekend to take part in the Keck Invitational hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University (Ill.). The meet begins at 12 p.m. on Saturday, February 5. The NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships is scheduled to begin on Thursday, March 3, in Geneva, Ohio.