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November 03, 2005
Eagles have nationals in sight
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The No. 9-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's cross country team will compete at the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Championships Saturday in Big Rapids, Michigan.
The Screaming Eagles have an excellent chance to advance out of the region and into the NCAA II National Championships—which are slated for November 19 in Pomona, California—for the first time since 1997.
A new twist to this year's regional championships is the fact that the Great Lakes Region has earned an extra berth into the national meet. That means the Great Lakes Region will advance four teams as well as the top five individual runners.
USI, which is ranked third in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region rankings, is coming off a dominating performance at the GLVC Championships. The Eagles placed six in the top 10 at the GLVC Championships and won by 37 points.
Leading the Eagles into Saturday's regional championship is junior Rey Alvarez (Danville, Illinois) and senior Jesse Davis (Bloomington, Indiana). Alvarez was second at the GLVC Championships, while Davis was fourth at the league meet.
Also look for sophomore Paul Jellema (Dyer, Indiana) and freshman Tim Sirbek (Hammond, Indiana) to make major contributions. Jellema was fifth at the league meet two weeks ago, while Sirbek was sixth.
Seniors Rob Garwood (Columbus, Indiana) and David Tyler (Evansville, Indiana) as well as sophomore Justin Thomas (Indianapolis, Indiana) will round out USI's top seven. Garwood and Tyler were ninth and 10th, respectively, at the GLVC Championships, while Thomas finished 20th at the league meet.
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