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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 05, 2008

Eagles get boost in poll,
Looking for trip to nationals

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's cross country team is looking to win its first region title in nearly 10 years when it competes at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships Saturday in Big Rapids, Michigan.

USI, which rose to fifth in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, is coming off a dominating performance at the GLVC Championships two weeks ago.

The Screaming Eagles had six runners earn All-GLVC honors and placed 10 runners in the top 21 as they won the conference title for the first time since 2003.

USI's only regional championship came in 1999 and it has not finished higher than third since then. The Eagles finished fourth two years ago and surprised the field with a fourth-place showing last year.

This season, however, the Eagles are a serious threat to No. 2 Grand Valley State University's string of seven straight region titles.

While the Eagles want to upend the Lakers and bring home a region title, qualifying for the NCAA II National Championships, which are November 22 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, will be their top goal Saturday. USI needs a top three finish Saturday to ensure its second straight trip to nationals.

In addition to the top three teams, the top two individuals that are not on qualifying teams will advance to nationals. All-Region honors go to the top 15 finishers.

In addition to Grand Valley State, top contenders include No. 17 Wayne State University and No. 19 University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

USI will turn to junior All-Americans Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana) and Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana) as well as freshman Adrienne Curtis (Louisville, Kentucky) to lead the way this weekend. Ballinger was second at the GLVC Championships, while Curtis and Shafer finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at the league meet.

USTFCCCA Top 25 Poll
1. Adams State
2. Grand Valley State
3. Chico State
4. Western State
5. Southern Indiana
6. Augustana (SD)
7. Shippensburg
8. Missouri Southern State
9. Tampa
10. Cal State Los Angeles
11. Slippery Rock
12. Seattle Pacific
13. Alaska Anchorage
14. Kutztown
15. Edinboro
16. Harding
17. Wayne State (MI)
18. Minnesota-Duluth
19. Wisconsin Parkside
20. UC San Diego
21. Dallas Baptist
22. Mesa State
23. Alabama Huntsville
24. Pittsburg State
25. Western Washington
Dropped Out: None.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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