Marion, Ind. - With a sixth-place finish in the
4x800 meter relay at the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in
Marion, Ind., Saint Xavier University earned
All-American status in a relay for the first time in program history. The relay team was made up of junior Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic), senior
Lauren Dentzman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont), senior Kayla Gilbert (Country Club Hills, Ill./Shepard) and junior Rachael Dean
(Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) and the group also established a new
school record with a time of 9:05.90, 13 seconds faster than the previous mark. SXU was one of just nine teams
nationally to qualify for Friday's finals in the 4x800 meter relay after
earning a spot with a time of 9:18.19 in Thursday's preliminaries.
"This is what this
event is all about," said Saint Xavier University women's track coach Lisa
Ebel. "Each of these girls ran the best 800 (meters) of their lives and it
resulted in a record-breaking performance for our team and All-American
recognition. I am so proud of this
group for how they came together and achieved their goal. Shaving 13 seconds off your time in the
course of a day shows just how determined and focused they truly were."
Junior Jacina Sims (Park Forest,
Ill./Rich East) represented SXU in the 100-meter dash and posted a time of
12.41 seconds in Thursday's preliminary heats, but did not advance. Sophomore
Mercedes Mancha (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood) finished 11th overall at
the national meet Friday for the Cougars in the 5000-meter race walk with a season-best
time of 28:35.79.