Marion, Ind. – A fifth-place finish and All-American performance by junior Mercedes Mancha (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood) in the 5,000-meter race walk was one of the highlights for the Saint Xavier University women's track team at the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships this past weekend at the Indiana Wesleyan University Outdoor Complex in Marion, Ind. In addition to Mancha, freshman Ashley Shares (Palos Park, Ill./Moraine Valley CC/Stagg) contended with humid conditions to complete her first marathon in 12th place with an impressive time of 3:13:44 and sophomore Jordan Wallace (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) also competed well with a 13th place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 11:59.17. Wallace is the first student-athlete at SXU to compete nationally in the steeplechase.
"This trio really had a wonderful finish to their outdoor season, which I believe capped a great year for all three," said Saint Xavier University women's track coach Lisa Ebel. "The experience they gained by competing in this national meet will help them tremendously as they move forward in their collegiate careers. I am very proud of each of them and excited to see what they accomplish in the future.
All three national qualifiers will compete on the SXU women's cross country team next season, which officially begins preseason training in August. The Cougars earned their highest national postseason finish to date last fall claiming No. 16 as a team at the 2011 NAIA National Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash.
Click here to see all the results from the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships