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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

March 05, 2009

Four Eagles punching tickets for nationals,
Ballinger will double in DMR/5,000 meters

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's track and field team will send four runners to the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, which are March 13-14 at the Division II Winter Sports Festival in Houston, Texas.

Junior All-American Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana) qualified individually in the 5,000 meters and was part of the Screaming Eagles' distance medley relay team that also punched its ticket to the national meet. Ballinger ranks third, nationally, with her adjusted 5,000-meter time of 16 minutes, 47.85 seconds.

Ballinger earned All-America honors last year when she finished second in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA II Indoor Championships.

In addition to Ballinger, USI's distance medley relay squad is comprised of senior Christy Dixon (Owensboro, Kentucky) as well as juniors Lauren Crick (Evansville, Indiana) and Lacy Williams (Haubstadt, Indiana).

This marks the fourth time in five years and the first time since 2007 that the Eagles will send a DMR squad to the NCAA II Indoor Championships. Both Crick and Dixon competed on the 2007 squad that finished ninth.

USI's best finish in the DMR was in 2005, when they finished fifth with a school-record time of 11 minutes 46.29 seconds. This season, the Eagles enter the DMR with an adjusted time of 11 minutes, 56.46 seconds, good enough for seventh in the 10-team field.

The Eagles will compete in the DMR Friday at 7:05 p.m. (CDT), while Ballinger competes in the 5,000 meters Saturday at 5:35 p.m. All-America status is awarded to the top eight finishers in each event.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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