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Cross Country - Fri, Sep. 8, 2017

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Saint Xavier cross country started the 2017 season in form, sweeping both individual titles Friday night at the Olivet Nazarene Midwest Classic. Senior Ellie Willging (SR/Freeport, Ill.) was the lone runner in the field to crack 19 minutes in the women's race, while seniors Abel Hernandez (SR/Alsip, Ill.) and Alan Guzman (SR/Berwyn, Ill.) went 1-2 on the men's race.

Results: Men | Women

The women's team also won the team title, with a meet-low score of 29, placing all five scoring runners in the top ten. Willging posted the winning time of 18:54.85, finishing nearly 54 seconds ahead of the field. Senior Sierra Downey (SR/Stickney, Ill.) placed 3rd, finishing the 5K course in 19:57.89. Rachal Brooks (SR/Chicago, Ill.) (7th; 20:21.44), Grace Maletich (SO/Woodridge, Ill.) (8th; 20:24.96), and Lorena Garcia (SO/Blue Island, Ill.) (10th; 20:47.27) round out the top five for the Cougars.

On the men's side, SXU held the team lead through the top three finishers, but Olivet Nazarene would place five within the top eight to take the team title as the Cougars placed second with a score of 47. Hernandez and Guzman finished within 0.2 seconds of one another, with times of 25:41 over the 8K race. Gabriel Esparza (SO/Blue Island, Ill.) placed 6th overall, finishing in 26:56.04, while Ivan Diaz (JR/Chicago, Ill.) (28:39.21) and Mario Scarcelli (SO/Joliet, Ill.) (28:50.94) finished 18th and 20th, respectively.

The Cougars are back in action on Friday, September 15, when they head to South Bend, Ind. to compete at the National Catholic Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.