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Men's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 14, 2005

Eagles prepare for return to nationals

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The No. 9-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's cross country team is making its final preparations for its first trip to the NCAA II National Championships since the 1997 season. The meet is Saturday in Pomona, California.

Led by the national championship performance of Elly Rono, the Screaming Eagles placed eighth at the 1997 NCAA II Championships, their highest team finish since finishing fifth at the 1983 national meet.

USI, which posted its highest finish (3rd) in the 1982 NCAA II Championships, has finished in the top 10 four times.

Junior Rey Alvarez (Danville, Illinois) and senior Jesse Davis (Bloomington, Indiana) have run one and two all season for the Eagles and will both need to have superb performances if the Eagles are to finish in the top 10 for a fifth time.

Sophomore Paul Jellema (Dyer, Indiana) and freshman Tim Sirbek (Hammond, Indiana) joined Alvarez and Davis on the NCAA II All-Great Lakes Region squad two weeks ago and will give the Eagles a stout combination at three and four.

Senior David Tyler (Evansville, Indiana) was USI's fifth finisher at the regional championships, while sophomore Justin Thomas (Indianapolis, Indiana) was USI's sixth finisher. Senior Rob Garwood (Columbus, Indiana) injured his ankle at the regional meet, but should be back to 100 percent by race time on Saturday. Garwood could be a big factor in USI's success.

The Eagles practice at USI Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 3 p.m. They depart from Evansville early Thursday morning and will practice on the course Friday.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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