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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 03, 2005

Eagles look to get back to nationals,
Cooksey puts undefeated streak on line

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The No. 7-ranked University of Southern Indiana women'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 2003. The Great Lakes Region will send four teams and the top five individual runners to the national meet this season.

Senior Heather Cooksey (Brownsburg, Indiana) is the defending NCAA II Great Lakes Region champion and will put her 5-0 record on the line when she steps up to the starting line Saturday. Cooksey is coming off her second straight GLVC Championship two weeks ago.

USI, which was ranked sixth in the national poll a week ago—the highest ranking in the history of the program—will welcome the return of its number two runner, sophomore Missy Burgin (Sellersburg, Indiana).

Without Burgin in the line up at the GLVC Championships, the Eagles still managed to finish second at the conference meet and were just three points away from the first-place University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers.

Senior Casey Schneider (New Salisbury, Indiana) and freshman Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana) give the Eagles a solid three-four combination, while senior Jennifer Finch (Warsaw, Indiana) and junior Carrie Leimberger (Indianapolis, Indiana) will add depth at the five and six spots for the Eagles Saturday.

Schneider was seventh at the GLVC Championships, while Shafer finished 10th and was named the GLVC Freshman of the Year. Finch and Leimberger were 15th and 21st, respectively, at the league meet.

Rounding out USI's top seven runners this weekend will by freshman Kathy Goebel (Evansville, Indiana). Goebel was 23rd at the GLVC Championships.

Dan McDonnell,
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