The No. 17 SXU women's cross country team finished second in conference and qualified for the national meet Saturday
The No. 17 SXU women's cross country team finished second in conference and qualified for the national meet Saturday
Women's Cross Country - Sat, Nov. 5, 2016

Channahon, Ill. – Finishing in first and second place overall respectively, junior Ellie Willging (Freeport, Ill./UIC/Freeport) and senior Nicole Watkins (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) put on an impressive display Saturday in leading the No. 17 ranked Saint Xavier University women's cross country team to a second-place team finish at the 2016 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championship in Channahon, Ill.  Willging won the 5K (5,000 meters) race with a time of 17:56.3, which was 41 seconds ahead of Watkins in second place at 18:37.6.  The Cougars just missed winning the conference meet with 46 points, just two points behind No. 16 University of St. Francis (Ill.) with 44 points.  

In addition to Willging and Watkins, junior Sierra Downey (Stickney, Ill./Morton College/Morton West) and senior Nicole Maier (Burbank, Ill./Olivet Nazarene/Reavis) also claimed all-conference honors for their performances Saturday.  Downey finished in the top 10 individually with a ninth-place finish with a 5K (5,000 meters) time of 19:15.3.  Maier was 15th overall with a time of 19:41.3.  Freshman Grace Maletich (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove North) placed 19th at the meet with a time of 19:51.9 and was named the 2016 CCAC Freshman Cross Country Runner of the Year.  Sophomore Deandra Stokes (South Holland, Ill./Thornton) and senior Courtney Correa (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) also ran well for the Cougars Saturday.  Stokes turned in a time of 19:58.2, while Correa clocked in at 20:39.2.  After the meet, SXU head coach Lisa Ebel was named the 2016 CCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. 

Saint Xavier now prepares for the 2016 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships on Saturday, November 19 at the North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Ill.  The women's race is scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. start.