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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

November 08, 2008

Eagles edged out of national picture,
Ballinger qualifies as individual

Complete Results;
USI Results only

BIG RAPIDS, Mich.The No. 5 University of Southern Indiana women's cross country team fell two points shy of its second straight trip to the NCAA II National Championships Saturday as it finished fourth at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships.

USI finished with 113 points, two behind host Ferris State University, which claimed one of three spots allocated to Midwest Region. No. 2 Grand Valley State University won the region title for the eighth straight season with 35 points, while No. 17 Wayne State University finished second with 90 points.

Mary Ballinger

Despite the team finish, the Screaming Eagles will be represented at the national meet for a seventh straight year. Junior All-American Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana), who earned All-Region honors Saturday, was one of two individual qualifiers for the national championships as she finished fourth with a 6k time of 21 minutes, 49.50 seconds.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Jessica Monson was the other individual qualifier as she finished third. Wayne State's Rachelle Malette won the individual title with a time of 21 minutes, 19.10 seconds.

Despite Ballinger's efforts, the Eagles struggled to adjust to the cold and soggy conditions Saturday. Junior All-American Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana) and freshman Adrienne Curtis (Louisville, Kentucky), who normally jockey for USI's number two and three spots, ran four and five, respectively, for the Eagles Saturday.

Junior Christy Dixon (Owensboro, Kentucky) finished 24th overall, while fellow classmate Lacy Williams (Haubstadt, Indiana) was 25th. Shafer and Curtis placed 30th and 34th, respectively, while sophomore Holly Bartelt (Huntingburg, Indiana) and freshman Brittany Rutledge (Westfield, Indiana) rounded out USI's competitors with finishes of 46th and 73rd, respectively.

Ballinger will make her run for a second straight All-America honor November 22 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. USI has had an All-American in three of the last four NCAA II Championship meets.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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