Bourbonnais, Ill. – Finishing fourth overall in an impressive field, the 2013 Saint Xavier University men's cross country team opened its season at the Midwest Classic hosted by Olivet Nazarene University and held at Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bourbonnais, Ill. The meet featured 12 Midwest teams, primarily from the NAIA. Leading the Cougars was senior Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice), who finished 15th overall among the 128 runners participating in a time of 16:56.15 over the 8K (8,000 meters) course.
Following Corcoran was senior Chris Shellenberger (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) in 19th place overall in 27:02.57. A pack of Cougars came next as senior Chris Sarna (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) took 26th place with a time of 27:21.44, senior Brian Meyer (Bloomington, Ill./Ashford University/Bloomington) claimed 28th place at 27:22.78, freshman Abel Hernandez (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) in 30th at 27:28.45 and junior Kyle Counter (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) finishing 32nd at 27:34.90. The final two Cougar placers were senior Shane Kenney (Porter, Ind./Chesterton) in 44th place with a time of 28:19.89 and sophomore Eric Hancock (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) in 46th place at 28:30.71.
"It is difficult to assess this race overall," remarked SXU men's cross country coach Ed McAllister. "On one level, I do not see this as a great race for us, but on the other hand, there were so many bright spots and unanswered questions that I need to wait a week to truly give a fair analysis of how this team performed. Brian Meyer did very well in his first Cougar outing as did Kyle Counter, back after basically a full year's absence due to injury. Shellenberger and Sarna both ran well and Abel Hernandez was solid in his first collegiate race. I guess we'll just have to wait until next week to get a better picture of just what this team possesses."
Saint Xavier continues its season at the inaugural Illinois Intercollegiate Championship, which is back at Aspen Ridge Golf Course on Friday, September 13. This new meet pits all of the non-NCAA Division I colleges in Illinois for the first time together in one huge meet. The men's race is scheduled for a 5:45 p.m. start.