Cross Country men claim victory, women take third at Bradley Classic

    Sophomore Sadie Darnell has finished worse than sixth only once in scored meets this season.

    Sophomore Sadie Darnell has finished worse than sixth only once in scored meets this season.

    Oct. 12, 2012

    By Tyler Wooten

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    PEORIA, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois cross country squads both had excellent showings at the Bradley Classic on Friday, with the men taking the team title and the women finishing third in a hotly contested 6K race.

    The Saluki men dominated the 8K race, as the closest school (Marquette) was 50 meet points behind Southern.

    Junior Zach Dahleen led the Saluki men, finishing second with his best time this season of 24:20, which technically gave him a victory over the collegiate competition. Fellow junior Brian Dixon wasn't far behind, as his time of 24:37 won him seventh place. Dahleen and Dixon have finished in the top-ten in every race they've participated in this season.

    Also landing into the top-ten in eighth place behind Dixon was sophomore Nick Schrader, who now has three such finishes in scored meets.

    The women's 6K race -- the first such race this season -- was hotly contested to the very end. The difference between Southern's third place finish of 155 and winner Illinois State was only 13 points. Even closer, Saint Louis edged out the Salukis by only one meet point.

    Sophomore Sadie Darnell once again led the charge for the Saluki women, finishing sixth with a time of 21:18. Darnell has only finished worse than sixth once (Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational, 46th of 514).

    "On the men's side, it was good to see Zach (Dahleen) compete the way he did," said head coach Matt Sparks. "We anticipated him becoming one of our better cross country runners in our conference after last track season, and we saw that today."

    "As a team, we still need to get better if we're going to contend for the conference title in two weeks," Sparks said.

    "On the women's side, that's the best women's team performance we've had in several years," Sparks said. "Sadie (Darnell)'s performance was also one of the best individual ones in some time as well."

    "As a team, I was especially excited to see how we stacked against Bradley and ISU, two of the better teams in our region, which bears good things to come in two weeks."

    The Salukis look to keep this momentum rolling into the Missouri Valley Conference Championships on Oct. 27 in Normal, Ill.

    2. Zach Dahleen - 24:20
    7. Brian Dixon - 24:37
    8. Nick Schrader - 24:42
    18. Evan Ehrenheim - 24:58
    23. Oscar Medina - 25:01
    28. Juan Carrera - 25:12
    30. Lucas Cherry - 25:15
    42. Cole Allison - 25:30
    75. T.J. Heffernan - 26:06
    90. Kulayifi Haji - 26:19

    6. Sadie Darnell - 21:18
    19. Kelley Gallagher - 21:43
    23. Lacey Gibson - 21:47
    27. Kristen Levi - 21:50
    40. Alyssa Allison - 22:07
    68. Tori Parry - 22:32
    76. Eileen Schweiss - 22:37
    77. Mobola Rotibi - 22:37
    130. Krista Menghini - 23:15
    171. Erica Ernst - 24:02
    179. Jacqueline Lintzenich - 24:14