Saluki women, Darnell cruise to victory at EIU Walt Crawford Open

    Junior Sadie Darnell won her third career race with a time of 17:37.52, a personal best.

    Junior Sadie Darnell won her third career race with a time of 17:37.52, a personal best.

    Sep 6, 2013

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    By Tyler Wooten

    CHARLESTON, Ill. -- The Saluki women's cross country team won in dominant fashion at the EIU Walt Crawford Open on Friday, scoring eight runners in the top-25 and six in the top-ten -- including first-place finisher, Sadie Darnell. This is the second straight year the Saluki women have gone into Charleston and come out with a team win.

    Darnell, a junior native of Festus, Mo., beat out 138 other competitors in the 5K race for her third career victory as a Saluki. Darnell beat out last year's Walt Crawford victor, Evansville's Kelby Jenkins, by over two seconds at a personal best time of 17:37.52.

    The remainder of the top-ten was imbued with Saluki maroon, as Southern took five of the next nine spots. Sophomore Kristen Levi led the way with a career-high finish of third and a personal best time of 17:44.64. Behind her were junior Lacey Gibson (fifth, 18:09.65), sophomore Kelley Gallagher (sixth, 18:10.02), junior Tori Parry (seventh, 18:12.09), sophomore Krista Menghini (eighth, 18:33.91), and sophomore Allison Gallo (14th, 18:46.92, career-high finish).

    "This is the fastest women's team we've had in a long time on this course," said head coach Matt Sparks. "Our performance today bodes well for our goal of posting numerous all-conference runners later this year."

    The Saluki men's squad did not yield a team score because it only ran three athletes. Evan Ehrenheim (14th, 26:26.24) and T.J. Heffernan (16th, 26:33.45) finished within the top-20 for Southern.

    The Salukis return home on Sat., Sept. 21, for the Saluki Invitational, which kicks off at 10 a.m.

    Women's 5K Results (bold denotes runner scored):
    1. Sadie Darnell - 17:37.52
    3. Kristen Levi - 17:44.64
    5. Lacey Gibson - 18:09.65
    6. Kelley Gallagher - 18:10.02
    7. Tori Parry - 18:12.09
    8. Krista Menghini - 18:33.91
    14. Allison Gallo - 18:46.92

    22. Alyssa Allison - 19:15.85
    32. Eileen Schweiss - 19:33.79
    43. Sarah McIntosh - 19:53.83
    48. Melissa McDonald - 20:08.53
    66. Jessica Jump - 20:57.40
    68. Alexandra Walch - 21:00.61
    71. Meg Fitzgerald - 21:13.59
    93. Autumn Shearer - 22:18.58
    96. Kaylyn Shaw - 22:37.28
    109. Allison Goldasich - 23:23.24
    110. Paige Coddington - 23:34.10

    Men's 8K Results:
    13. Evan Ehrenheim - 26:26.24
    16. T.J. Heffernan - 26:33.45
    49. Kulayifi Haji - 27:54.04