Bourbonnais, Ill. - The Saint Xavier University men's cross country team completed its 2011 regular season schedule at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Cross Country Championships hosted by Olivet Nazarene University Saturday in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars finished fourth overall among the 12 teams competing at the conference meet. Sophomore Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) and senior Matt Rychel (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) finished among the leaders and will both have the opportunity to represent SXU as individuals at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday, November 19.
Corcoran took eighth place overall among the 118 runners who took part in the meet and finished the 8K (8,000 meters) course in a time of 26:00. He earned all-conference honors for his performance. Rychel, who also secured all-conference recognition Saturday for his individual finish, claimed 13thplace overall at 26:14. The third runner across the finish line for the Cougars was freshman Kyle Counter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) in 31stplace with a time of 27:24. Counter was closely followed by senior Brandon Hummer (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South) in 38thoverall at 27:38 and then by sophomores Chris Sarna (Palos Park, Ill./Stagg) and Shane Kenney (Porter, Ind./Chesterton) in 44thand 48thplaces, respectively, in times of 27:54 and 27:59. The final scorer for SXU was senior Daniel Hasty (Oak Lawn, Ill./Brother Rice) in 51stplace in a time of 28:21.
"We were severely hit by the injury bug over the last two weeks," said Saint Xavier University men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "I don't feel that we were at 100 percent, but that is part of the sport. Brian Corcoran, even being able to compete, was a last-minute decision. The fact that he gutted it out and was still able to qualify for the national meet was nothing short of a miracle. Matt Rychel qualifying for the second time as well speaks to his perseverance and the recent emergence of freshman Kyle Counter gives me much optimism for the future of this program."
Corcoran and Rychel will now head to Vancouver, Wash., to represent Saint Xavier University at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 19. The men's race is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. (central) start.