Palos Park, Ill. - Led by senior Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington) in second place overall with a time of 21:15 over the 4.1-mile course, the Saint Xavier University men's cross country team ran this weekend at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) opener at Horsetail Slough in Palos Park, Ill. The Cougars surprised the Horizon League competition by tying for second among the seven squads in attendance. The meet was scored as a multiple dual meet and SXU lost to DePaul University, tied the host Flames and bested Loyola University (Ill.), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Wis.), University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Wis.) and Chicago State University (Ill.).
"This was the perfect home meet," joked Coach Ed McAllister. "We get to run on a course that we regularly practice on, plus we get UIC to do all the work of hosting the meet. This was one of the best performances that we have ever had. The youngbloods (freshmen Evan Lowry, Matt Corley, Roy Witty and Joel Wojcik) continue to step up each weekend and perform up to whatever task we ask. Steven ran his usual strong race, and the gap among our runners continues to shrink."
Bugarin was closely followed by freshmen Evan Lowry (Horton, Mich./Hanover-Horton) in fifth place with a time of 21:34, Matt Corley (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) in seventh at 21:41, and Roy Witty (Mount Greenwood, Ill./Marist) in 28th at 22:32. Other finishers for SXU included sophomore John Neisler (Armington, Ill./Olympia) in 40th with a time of 23:12, sophomore Eli Hoffman (Mount Morris, Ill./Oregon) in 52nd at 24:40 and sophomore Manny Gonzalez (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) in 55th at 25:13 in the overall field of 63 runners. The Cougars face another huge challenge this weekend as they venture to Grand Rapids, Mich., this Friday, September 7 to compete in the Aquinas College (Mich.) Invitational. The Cougars will face nationally-ranked Aquinas as well as Cornerstone University (Mich.) among the six-team field. MEET TEAM RESULTS: De Paul 23, Saint Xavier 36.Saint Xavier 29, UIC 29.Saint Xavier 25, Loyola 31.Saint Xavier 20, UW-Milwaukee 36Saint Xavier 21, UW-Green Bay 35.Saint Xavier 16, Chicago State 47Click here for complete meet results