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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

January 14, 2009

Eagles look to All-Americans in 2009

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's track and field team opens its 2009 indoor season Saturday when it competes at the SASF Invitational in Carbondale, Illinois.

Junior All-Americans Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana) and Allison Shafer (Plainville, Indiana) bolster one of the region's top distance squads. Ballinger, a three-time All-American in cross country and track, was second in the 5,000 meters at the 2008 NCAA II Indoor Championships and is coming off a 10th-place showing at the NCAA II Cross Country Championships in the fall.

Shafer also is a three-time All-American and has excelled on the track where she has earned All-America honors in both indoor and outdoor track.

In all, the Screaming Eagles' distance squad features nine All-GLVC performers including seniors Sarah Baysden (Shelbyville, Indiana) and Christy Dixon (Owensboro, Kentucky); juniors Lauren Crick (Evansville, Indiana) and Sarah Whiteman (Bloomington, Indiana); sophomore Allison Laird (Greenville, Indiana); and freshmen Adrienne Curtis (Louisville, Kentucky) and Brittany Rutledge (Westfield, Indiana).

Dixon will be a major factor in the mile and on the Eagles' distance medley relay team where she figures to run the 800-meter leg. Crick also has a chance to run the 400-meter leg on the Eagles' DMR squad.

Curtis and Rutledge were two of the top freshmen in the GLVC during the cross country season, while Laird finished third in the 10,000 meters at last year's GLVC Outdoor Championships. Whiteman was USI's number four runner at the GLVC Cross Country Championships in the fall.

Also look for junior Lacy Williams (Haubstadt, Indiana) to contribute to USI in 2009. Williams will be a major factor in the GLVC in the mile and is slotted to run the mile leg in USI's DMR team.

Freshman Shelby Key (Chandler, Indiana) will help the Eagles in the sprinting events and should challenge Crick for the 400-meter leg on the DMR team.

Sophomore Carmisha Leary (Indianapolis, Indiana) will help the Eagles in the field where she finished fourth at the GLVC Indoor Championships and sixth at the GLVC Outdoor Championships in the shot put. Freshman Donna Ferree (Memphis, Indiana) also could score for the Eagles in the throwing events at the conference meets.

USI is scheduled to compete at Indiana University three times this winter before heading to the Grand Valley State University Big Meet February 13-14. The GLVC Indoor Championships are February 27-28 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, while the NCAA II Indoor Championships are March 13-14 in Houston, Texas.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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