Geneva, Ohio –Juniors Mercedes Mancha (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood) and Rachael Dean (Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) both represented the Saint Xavier University women's indoor track team well over the weekend by earning NAIA All-America honors in their respective events at the 2012 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Mancha finished sixth place overall in the 3,000-meter race walk with a time of 17:05.17 to earn the first All-American recognition of her collegiate career. Dean took seventh place in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:25.58 to claim her fifth career All-American award (twice for cross country, twice for indoor track and once for outdoor track). As a team, the Cougars finished 35thout of 50 squads competing at the national meet. It was the highest finish for any of the four teams competing from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Other key performances from the weekend included a 13thplace finish by junior Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) in the 1,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 3:02.08 and a 20thplace finish (12:46.85) by the squad's Distance Medley Relay (DMR) team. The relay team consisted of Ott, senior Jacina Sims (Park Forest, Ill./Rich East), sophomore Jordan Wallace (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) and freshman Kayla Droessler (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic).
"What a fantastic way to cap our indoor track season," said SXU women's track coach Lisa Ebel. "Not just Mercedes and Rachael earning All-American status, but the fact that Jackie hit a personal-best time was special as well. The team has worked extremely hard this year and this is great momentum heading into our outdoor season."
Saint Xavier will kick off its 2012 outdoor track and field season on Saturday, March 31, at the Maple Leaf Invitational hosted by Goshen College in Goshen, Ind. The meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (eastern).