May 02, 2009
Ballinger leads Eagles to fifth-place finish at GLVC Championships
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Junior All-American Mary Ballinger (Chesterton, Indiana) claimed a pair of titles to lead the University of Southern Indiana women's track and field team to a fifth-place finish at the GLVC Outdoor Championships this weekend.
Ballinger began the meet by finishing first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with an NCAA II automatic qualifying mark and GLVC Outdoor Championship record time of 10 minutes, 57.08 seconds Friday. She also finished first in the 3,000 meters Saturday, posting a time of nine minutes, 38.80 seconds, nearly five ticks off former USI All-American Heather Cooksey's meet record.
In addition to her two first-place efforts, Ballinger, who accounted for 23 of the Screaming Eagles' 84 points, helped USI's 4x400-meter relay team to a sixth-place finish.
Senior Sarah Baysden
(Shelbyville, Indiana) also captured an individual title as she finished first in the 10,000 meters with a time of 38 minutes, 41.51 seconds Friday, less than a second ahead of sophomore teammate Allison Laird
(Greenville, Indiana), who was second in the event. The win marked the second time in three years Baysden has captured the GLVC title in the 10,000 meters.
Baysden, who was second in the 10,000 meters at the GLVC Outdoor Championships a year ago, also finished third in the 5,000 meters Saturday.
As a team, the Eagles had nine top-five finishes and 20 top-10 performances. Juniors Christy Dixon
(Owensboro, Kentucky) and Lacy Williams
(Haubstadt, Indiana) each posted fourth-place finishes in the 1,500 meters and steeplechase, respectively. Freshman Adrienne Curtis
(Louisville, Kentucky) was fourth in the 5,000 meters, while fellow classmate Brittany Karges
(Princeton, Indiana) rounded out USI's top-five performers with a fifth-place effort in the 10,000 meters.
The Eagles return to action May 7-8 when they send a small group of competitors to the Dr. Keeler Invitational (May 7-8) in Naperville, Illinois, and the Billy Hayes Invitational (May 8) in Bloomington, Indiana). Both events will serve as last-chance qualifying meets for USI competitors in search of NCAA provisional and automatic qualifying times.
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