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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 14, 2005

Eagles ready for nationals

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The No. 10-ranked University of Southern Indiana women's cross country team is making its final preparations for the NCAA II National Championships. The meet is Saturday in Pomona, California.

USI is making its sixth trip as a team to the national championship meet and first since 2003. The Screaming Eagles have finished in the top 10 twice, with their highest finish (8th) coming in 1998.

Senior Heather Cooksey (Brownsburg, Indiana) is considered one of the favorites to win the individual national championship. Cooksey finished 17th at last season's championship meet and has finished first in five of the six meets she has run this season.

The Eagles' team success will have a lot to do with how well junior Missy Burgin (Sellersburg, Indiana) runs Saturday. Burgin finished 10th at the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional two weeks ago and has potential of running at an All-American status.

USI also needs a good performance from senior Casey Schneider (New Salisbury, Indiana) and freshman Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana). The two should be USI's third and fourth finishers Saturday and their performances could lift the Eagles to a top-10 finish.

Senior Jennifer Finch (Warsaw, Indiana) and junior Carrie Leimberger (Indianapolis, Indiana) will compete to be USI's fifth finisher, although Leimberger was USI's third finisher at regional championships two weeks ago. Sophomore Meagan Scheidler (Terre Haute, Indiana) will round out USI's top seven runners.

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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