Geneva, Ohio - Saint Xavier University junior Rachael Dean (Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) took home a third-place finish
and All-American recognition this past weekend in the 3,000 meter run at the
2011 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the GaREAT Sports Complex in
Geneva, Ohio. She won her preliminary
heat with a time of 10:18.16 and then finished third overall in the finals with
a personal-best time of 10:06.69 to earn All-American honors. The top six finishers in the event were named
All-Americans. It was the highest finish
in the event for a Saint Xavier University women's runner in the program's history
and gives Dean her second All-American recognition after being named a NAIA
All-American in cross country last November.
In addition to Dean's remarkable performance, SXU also had a
distance medley relay (DMR) team compete in the preliminaries at the national
meet. The team consisted of junior
Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic), junior Krista Olenek
(Algonquin, Ill./Marian Central Catholic), senior Kayla Gilbert (Country Club
Hills, Ill./Shepard) and freshman Jordan Wallace (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way
North). The group finished with a
season-best time of 12:43.76, but did not qualify for the finals. Sophomore Mercedes Mancha (Elgin,
Ill./Streamwood) also finished 10th overall in the 3,000 meter race
walk with a season-best time of 17:01.08.
"Rachael is an
amazing talent and I was so excited for her to pick up her second All-American
honor of the year," says Saint Xavier University women's track and field coach
Lisa Ebel. "All of our qualifiers performed
well and hit season-best times, so that was very encouraging heading into our
outdoor season. Plus, when you get to
this point in the season, you are going up against the very best at our level."
Saint Xavier kicks off its outdoor season on Wednesday,
March 30, with the Troll Relays hosted by Trinity Christian College in Palos
Heights, Ill. The meet is scheduled for
a 4 p.m. start.