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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

May 18, 2004

Eagles sending five to nationals

Final Entry Lists

The University of Southern Indiana track and field team will send five competitors—three women’s competitors and two men’s competitors—to this year’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Walnut, California.

Sophomore women’s runner Heather Cooksey (Brownsburg, Indiana) will be making her second straight trip to the outdoor championships after earning All-America honors in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters a year ago. She finished second in both events.

Like last season, Cooksey will compete in the 3,000 meters, where she ranks first in the country with a time of nine minutes, 33.71 seconds, and the 5,000 meters, where she ranks sixth in the nation with a time of 16 minutes, 46.79 seconds.

During the indoor season, Cooksey earned All-America honors after finishing third in the mile at the NCAA II Indoor Championships. Cooksey will be making her sixth combined appearance at an NCAA II National Championship event (two in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track).

Freshman Candace Perry (Anderson, Indiana) will compete in the long jump where she ranks second in the country with a mark of 19 feet, 11 ½ inches, while sophomore Abby Boberg (Brownsburg, Indiana) will compete in the high jump where she ranks 16th, nationally, with a mark of five feet, 7 ¾ inches.

Perry earned All-America honors in the long jump during the indoor season and will be making her second appearance at an NCAA II National Championship event while Boberg earned All-America honors in the high jump in the 2002 indoor season and will be making her third appearance at an NCAA II National Championship event.

Junior men’s competitor Jesse Davis (Bloomington, Indiana) came on strong down the stretch of the outdoor season and will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase where he will be seeded seventh with a time of nine minutes, 8.83 seconds. Davis won the GLVC championship in the steeplechase and is just eight seconds off the top-seeded runner in the event.

Senior Doug Schwartz (Centralia, Illinois) also is coming off a GLVC championship after placing first in the 5,000 meters in Indianapolis last weekend. Schwartz will be seeded 10th in the 5,000 meters after posting a season-best time of 14 minutes, 30.81 seconds.

This will mark the first time that Schwartz or Davis has competed in the NCAA II National Championships. Schwartz was just over a second away from making the final cut to compete in the 5,000 meters in last season’s outdoor championships.

USI, which saw its women finish ninth at last year’s NCAA II Outdoor Championships, will have a chance to break a school-record for All-America awards in one season. USI grabbed four All-America awards in last season’s outdoor national championships and three during the 1998 outdoor national championships.

For a competitor to earn All-America status in an event, he or she must finish in the top eight.

This also is a record for the most competitors the Eagles have sent to nationals in school history. The Eagles, who sent four competitors to last season’s outdoor championships, nearly sent six competitors, but freshman women’s sprinter Natalie Clark (Newburgh, Indiana) missed the final cut by .14 seconds.

USI will depart for California Tuesday, May 25, with nationals starting Thursday, May 27 and ending Saturday, May 29.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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