South Bend, Ind. - Led by a 24th place finish by senior Steven Bugarin (Chicago, Ill./Washington), the Saint Xavier University men's cross country team took part in the National Catholic Championships last Friday at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. This meet pares off the best of the Catholic institutions in the nation and combines all colleges from NCAA-I, II, III and NAIA schools in one setting. Overall, the Cougars finished 17th in a field of 33 squads, while in the small school division (NCAA-II, III and NAIA), the Cougars took seventh among the 22 squads.
Bugarin took 24th place out of the 253 runners in the race with a time of 26:03 over the five-mile course. Next across the finish line for SXU was freshman Roy Witty (Mount Greenwood, Ill./Marist) in 100th place at 27:44. Freshman Matt Corley (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) was next in 112th place in 27:56, followed by sophomore John Neisler (Armington, Ill./Olympia) in 143rd with a time of 28:30. Rounding out the Cougar squad was sophomore Eli Hoffman (Mt. Morris, Ill./Oregon) in 155th at 28:44, freshman Joel Wojcik (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech) in 201st in 29:49 and sophomore Manny Gonzalez (Chicago, Ill./St. Laurence) in 233rd with a time of 30:53. "We performed better this weekend, especially considering the strength of the competition," said SXU men's cross country Ed McAllister. "We're still missing (Evan) Lowry and, of course, that hurt us. However, given our overall health, I've was satisfied with our performance. Steven ran a strong race and the freshmen are running better each weekend." The Cougars travel to Davenport, Iowa, this Friday (September 21) to run in Augustana College's Brissman-Lundeen Invitational. The men's race is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.Click here for meet results of the National Catholic Championships