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November 06, 2002
USI runners to compete at regional championships
The University of Southern Indiana menís and womenís cross country teams will be making their bids for the NCAA II National Championships as they compete in the Great Lakes Regional Championships at the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Hudsonville, Michigan (hosted by Grand Valley State) this Saturday, November 9. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Meet in which the menís squad finished third and the womenís squad finished second.
Heading the list of runners on the menís side for the Eagles is juniors Joey Byrne (Georgetown, Indiana) and Mark Thurner (Hebron, Indiana). Byrne won the individual championship at the GLVC Championships a couple of weeks ago and will be making his bid for a second consecutive berth in the NCAA II National Championships. He finished third at the regional championships and 13th at the national championships last season.
Thurner enters this weekendís regional championship on the heels of a third place finish at the GLVC Championships. A two-time All-Conference runner, Thurner finished 42nd at last seasonís regional championships and will be looking to reach nationals for the first time in his career.
Also expecting to make an impact for the menís squad will be sophomore All-GLVC performer Will Siemers (Bensenville, Illinois). Siemers finished seventh at the GLVC Championships and was a NJCAA All-American at Rend Lake Community College.
Only two teams from the menís regional will advance to the national championships, so the Eagles must place in the top two as a team to advance. However, the top five teams in the womenís regional will advance to the national championships.
The womenís squad is led by a trio of All-GLVC runners. Sophomore Casey Schneider (New Salisbury, Indiana) was USIís top finisher at the GLVC Championships in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her third-place performance at the conference championships was just 32 seconds off the top pace.
Schneider will be pushed by freshman Heather Cooksey (Brownsburg, Indiana) and junior Jenny Farmer (Princeton, Indiana). Cooksey finished sixth at the conference meet, just a split second ahead of Farmer who came in at seventh. Farmer is looking for a return trip to nationals after redshirting in 2001.
The two teams will depart for Michigan Thursday afternoon. The NCAA II National Championships will be held in Ashland, Ohio, on Saturday, November 23.
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