Men finish 10th, women 23rd at NCAA Regional

    Nov. 12, 2011

    By Robin Thuringer

    CARBONDALE, Ill. --The Southern Illinois cross country team competed Saturday in the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship in DeKalb, Ill.

    As a team, the men placed 10th of 25, while the women placed 23rd of 28th.

    The meet was ran on the recently reconfigured NIU North 40, which is located in the northeast corner of the Northern Illinois University campus. The course featured gradual uphill and downhill climbs along rolling hills to offer the teams a challenge.

    The top finisher for the Saluki men was Brian Dixon who placed 37th in a field of 171 runners. He clocked in a 10K time of 32:15.82.

    "Brian ran great, he definitely has been the most consistent on the men's side all year," said SIU coach Matt Sparks.

    Senior Neal Anderson placed close to Dixon in the 41st position with a time of 32:25.24. Zach Dahleen placed 70th with a time of 33:12.39. Cole Allison placed 77th with a time of 33:23.01.

    T.J. Heffernan and Evan Ehrenheim rounded out the line-up placing 82nd and 104th, respectively.

    "This race was a 10K so it hurt our younger guys because each race this season has been a 8K, so the extra distance was a challenge," Sparks said. "Overall our team goal was to place in the top-ten in the region and we achieved that."

    The Saluki women were lead by Jamie Pfister who place 62nd with a time of 22:34.28. The senior from Roanoke, Ill. improved by 47 positions from last year's regional championship.

    "It was really great to see Jamie Pfister go out this way. She has contributed in so many ways to the Saluki cross country and track and field programs over the past five years that I am happy to see her season end this way."



    Freshman Lacey Gibson finished strong in 81st place with a 6K time of 22:49.78.

    "Any time a freshman places in the top 100 in a regional meet it is great to see, Lacey did well," said Sparks.

    Eileen Schweiss was the next finisher for the Salukis placing 115th with a time of 23:16.33. Tori Parry placed 150th with a time of 23:53.79. Sarah McIntosh completed the roster for SIU placing 153rd.

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