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November 01, 2007
Eagles have regional title in mind
EVANSVILLE, Ind.— The University of Southern Indiana men's cross country team will be one of the favorites to win the regional title when it competes at the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Championships Saturday in Edwardsville, Illinois. The men's 10k begins at 10:30 a.m., while the women's 6k begins at 9:30 a.m.
USI, which rose to seventh in the national poll after dropping to eighth a week ago, is looking to use its momentum heading into Saturday's meet. The Screaming Eagles are coming off their third straight GLVC title run and league-record 15th overall.
Senior Paul Jellema (Dyer, Indiana) is a favorite to win the individual title after running away with the conference championship two weeks ago. Jellema, like all runners in the field, will run the 10k for the first time this season. Jellema, however, is no stranger to the 10k after earning All-America honors in the 10,000 meters during the spring.
Junior Tim Sirbek (Hammond, Indiana) as well as seniors Rey Alvarez (Danville, Illinois) and Tristan Mannix (Crothersville, Indiana) also will be major factors for the Eagles on Saturday. Sirbek and Mannix were second and seventh, respectively, at the GLVC Championships two weeks ago, while Alvarez has had a solid week of workouts heading into the regional championships.
USI, which was fifth at the regional meet a year ago, is looking for its third straight trip to the NCAA II Championships. The Eagles have won three regional championships since 1982, the last coming in 1991.
The top four teams from the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Championships will advance to the NCAA II Championships, which are November 17 in Joplin, Missouri. All individual competitors who finish in the top five overall places and are not a member of a qualifying team also will automatically advance to the NCAA II Championships.
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