CHICAGO – Junior Ellie Willging (Freeport, Ill./UIC/Freeport) turned in two dominating performances and qualified for the 2017 NAIA Women's Indoor Track & Field National Championships in two separate events to highlight the Saint Xavier University women's track & field team over its past two meets. Willging won the 3,000 meter run (3K) at the Olivet Nazarene Invite back on Saturday, February 4, with an "A" standard qualifying time of 10:10.61. She was nearly 17 seconds ahead of the next competitor. On Friday, February 10, Willging amazed again at the Chicagoland Championships hosted by North Central College in Naperville winning the 5,000 meter run (5K) by 42 seconds over the second place finisher with an "A" standard qualifying and new school record time of 17:24.48. She is currently seeded nationally as No. 2 in the NAIA in the 5K and No. 5 overall in the 3K.
In addition to Willging's big results, the squad also had a couple of other notable performers from the Chicagoland Championships. Junior Sierra Downey (Stickney, Ill./Morton College/Morton West) turned in a "B" standard national qualifying time of 18:28.17 in the 5K with a sixth place overall finish in the event. Junior Rachal Brooks (Chicago, Ill./Mother McAuley) also broke her own school record in the 400 meter dash with a stellar time of 1:00.38.
Saint Xavier heads down to Bourbonnais, Ill., for the inaugural Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships held on February 17-18. The meet is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Friday and a 10 a.m. start Saturday at the Perry Student Life Recreation Center.