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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

October 25, 2008

USI runs away with GLVC title

Complete Results;
USI Results Only

ROLLA, Mo.The No. 7-ranked University of Southern Indiana women's cross country team had 10 runners finish in the top 21 as it ran away with its first conference title since 2003 Saturday at the GLVC Championships.

Junior All-American Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana) led the Screaming Eagles, who captured their fourth GLVC title in the program's 20-year history. Ballinger finished second with a 6k time of time of 20 minutes, 59.43 seconds, less than 16 seconds off the winning pace set by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Jessica Monson.

As a team, the Eagles placed three runners in the top seven and finished with 39 points. The four-time defending champion and No. 20-ranked Rangers of UW-Parkside finished second with 64 points, while Northern Kentucky University was third with 80 points.

Freshman Adrienne Curtis (Louisville, Kentucky) and junior All-American Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana) joined Ballinger in the top 10. Curtis finished sixth with a 6k time of 22 minutes, 9.72 seconds, while Shafer was seventh with a time of 22 minutes, 22.10 seconds.

USI also had a school-record six named to the All-GLVC team. Ballinger, Curtis, and Shafer all earned All-GLVC honors as did junior Sarah Whiteman (Bloomington, Indiana), junior Christy Dixon (Owensboro, Kentucky), and freshman Brittany Rutledge (Westfield, Indiana). Whiteman finished 11th, while Dixon and Rutledge were 13th and 14th, respectively.

Mike Hillyard


"We haven't won the conference championship since 2003, so it's definitely nice to get that title back," Head Coach Mike Hillyard said. "We were a little overly aggressive in the beginning of the race and it cost us a few spots, but those are tactical issues we can correct before regionals."

Hillyard was named the GLVC Men's and Women's Coach of the Year after leading both squads to their respective conference titles. It marks the eighth and ninth times that Hillyard has earned the Coach of the Year award since taking over the women's program in 1997.

USI's men had 10 of the top 20 finishers as they completed the day with 26 points, 37 better than No. 22-ranked Northern Kentucky University and 40 better than No. 25-ranked Drury University, who were second and third, respectively.

The conference titles by USI marked the first time since 2003 that a school has taken home both the men's and women's GLVC titles in cross country and the fourth time in league history. USI was the last school to win both titles.

"It doesn't happen very often," Hillyard said of the winning both championships. "It was a goal from the start of the season to win the conference championship. To be able to have both teams win on the same day makes us all happy to meet that goal."

The Eagles return to action November 8 when they compete at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information


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