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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 20, 2004

USI’s Cooksey earns All-America honors

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EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana junior Heather Cooksey (Brownsburg, Indiana) finished 17th Saturday at the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country Championships at the USI Cross Country Course to earn All-America honors for the sixth time in her career and the first time as a cross country runner.

Cooksey, who was the national champion in the 3,000 meters at the 2004 NCAA II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, finished the course in 22 minutes, 33.10 seconds to become USI’s first women’s cross country All-American since 1998 and its fourth in the program’s history.

Although a national championship was the ultimate goal, All-America honors will do as course conditions and settings were not in Cooksey’s favor.

“Any kid who has been a national champion is not going to walk away completely satisfied when they finish 17th in a race,” Head Coach Mike Hillyard said. “She knows the conditions were not in her favor. She’s a better track runner because of her mechanics.

“Hills and mud are not her thing and I thought she handled it very well,” Hillyard continued. “It’s the highest she’s ever finished at a cross country nationals by almost 30 places so I’m pleased with it.”

Cooksey’s finished 45th last season at the NCAA II National Championships.

Cooksey and the rest of the Screaming Eagles will turn their attention to the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field seasons.

Dan McDonnell,
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