San Marcos, Calif. – Logging two personal best and two season best times among its top five runners, the No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University women's cross country team finished third among 10 teams at the Cougar Challenge hosted by California State University-San Marcos (Calif.) Saturday in San Marcos, Calif. Senior Rachael Dean (Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) finished fourth overall at the meet tying her personal best time on a 5K (5,000 meters) course at 17:58. As a unit, the Cougars recorded their best ever team time as well Saturday with its top five runners posting a combined time of 1:35.14. Host Cal State-San Marcos, the NAIA's No. 2 ranked squad, won the meet boasting four of the top five individual finishers.
Junior Ashley Shares (Palos Park, Ill./Moraine Valley CC/Stagg) also achieved a personal-best time Saturday finishing 14thoverall at 18:51. Junior Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) clocked in at 19:19, a season-best time, to finish 28thoverall, while sophomore Jordan Wallace (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) crossed the finish line in 30thplace at 19:32. Freshman Elise Prieto (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) also posted her best time of the 2011 season at 19:34, which put her in 31stplace. Freshman Kayla Droessler (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) also ran a nice race for SXU with a time of 19:54 in 38thplace.
"I am really proud of how the team ran this weekend," said SXU women's cross country coach Lisa Ebel. "Getting so many season-best and personal-best times is thrilling. We are looking forward to next weekend when we have the opportunity to run against many of the NAIA's top squads at Aquinas College."
Saint Xavier heads to Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday, October 22, for the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge hosted by Aquinas College (Mich.). The women's race is scheduled for a 12 p.m. (eastern) start.