From left:  junior Jackie Ott, junior Rachael Dean, senior Lauren Dentzman and senior Kayla Gilbert
From left: junior Jackie Ott, junior Rachael Dean, senior Lauren Dentzman and senior Kayla Gilbert
Women's Outdoor Track & Field - Tue, May. 31, 2011

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.