Mon, Nov. 5, 2007 - [Women's Cross Country]
Bettendorf, Iowa - Led by a third-place individual finish by sophomore Lauren Dentzman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont), the Saint Xavier University women's cross country team tied No. 19 ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Saturday at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, Iowa, with 41 team points, but won the tie-breaker to capture its first-ever NAIA Region VII title and qualified for its first appearance at the NAIA National Championships as a team since 1998. In addition, SXU women's cross country coach Lisa Ebel was named the 2007 NAIA Region VII Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The Cougars had a combined team time of 97:56, 17 seconds less than any of their previous team times this season. Dentzman finished the 5,000-meter (5K) course with a time of 19:12 to secure her third place finish. Freshman Jade Braden (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River) crossed the finish line in fifth place with a time of 19:21, while sophomore Amy Poull (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) was right behind her in sixth place at 19:33. Freshman Dana Eppley (Palos Heights, Ill./Shepard) finished in 12th place individually at the region meet Saturday with a time of 19:48 and freshman Kelly Malone (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley) posted a 15th place finish at 20:05. Rounding out the team finishers were sophomore Amanda Janosz (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) in 22th place with a time of 20:31 and sophomore Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) in 30th place at 20:45. Dentzman, Braden, and Poull all earned all-region recognition for their top 10 finishes.
"Qualifying as a team for the national meet was our number one goal this season and it is always exciting to accomplish your main goal," said Ebel. "Our team was motivated for this meet and it definitely showed in their individual times. I could not be more proud of this group."
Saint Xavier has two weeks to prepare for the 2007 NAIA National Cross Country Championships, which takes place on Saturday, November 17, in Kenosha, Wis. The meet will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at the Dr. Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course and the women's 5K race will start at 11:45 a.m. central time.