Sophomore Ellie Willging won the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede with a 5K time of 17:59 on her birthday
Sophomore Ellie Willging won the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede with a 5K time of 17:59 on her birthday
Women's Cross Country - Sat, Oct. 24, 2015

Cedar Rapids, Mich. – Winning the 5K (5,000 meters) race with an amazing time of 17:59 and a 33-second margin over the next fastest competitor, sophomore Ellie Willging (Freeport, Ill./UIC/Freeport) earned herself a nice birthday gift Saturday in helping the No. 23 ranked Saint Xavier University women's cross country team to a third place team finish at the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede hosted by Mount Mercy University (Iowa) at Seminole Valley Park in Cedar Rapids, Mich.  The Cougars also got big performances from junior Nicole Maier (Burbank, Ill./Olivet Nazarene/Reavis) and sophomore Sierra Downey (Stickney, Ill./Morton College/Morton West).  Maier turned in a career-best time of 19:11 for 13th place overall and Downey was right behind with a season-best time of 19:12 for 14th place.  

No. 12 ranked University of St. Francis (Ill.) won the meet with 52 points, while SXU collected 128 points for its third place finish.  Junior Nicole Watkins (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) was the fourth finisher for Saint Xavier coming across the line in 53rd place with a time of 20:19.  Freshman Jess Wittmayer (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) rounded out the scorers for the Cougars in 56th place at 20:28.  SXU finished ahead of two teams, host Mount Mercy (Iowa) and Trinity Christian College (Ill.), that are both receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll.  MMU and TCC both tied for fourth place with 130 points apiece.     

Saint Xavier gets ready for the 2015 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 7.  The meet will be hosted by Olivet Nazarene University and held at Aspen Ridge Golf Course.  The women's race is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start.