Nov. 13, 2010
By Michael Benson
PEORIA, Ill. - Six Salukis posted top 70 finishes Saturday in Peoria, Ill., including Dan Dunbar's 20th place finish in the men's race, as the Southern Illinois cross country teams competed at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship.
As a team, the men finished in ninth out of 24 teams, while the women came in 19th of 27.
After timing in at 30:30.17 on the 10K Newman Golf Course, Dunbar will now have to wait and see if he earns an at-large spot to the NCAA Championships Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.
"It's good to see Dan Dunbar go out on a positive note," said head coach Matt Sparks. "We're afraid he's going to miss qualifying by a few spots. That won't be decided until Sunday evening, so we'll learn more at that time."
The O'Fallon, Ill., native was followed by junior Neal Anderson, who came in 54th with a time of 31:23.41. Additionally, Kyle Kirchner (61st - 31:37.70), T.J. Heffernan (70th - 31:47.55), Lucas Cherry (74th - 31:51.96) and Brian Dixon (76th - 31:54.94) all posted top 80 finishes in the men's race.
Meanwhile, Zach Dahleen finished his season with a 109th place finish, timing in at 32:38.32.
On the women's side, Megan Hoelscher ran arguably her best race of the season, coming in at 38th in a field of 188 runners to pace the women's team with a time of 21:11.02.
Hoelscher was followed on the 6K course by fellow senior Emily Toennies, who crossed the finish line in 65th at 21:39.46. Rounding out the field for the Salukis were Jamie Pfister (109th - 22:20.11), Eileen Schweiss (158th - 23:26.82), and Kristian Baldwin (170th - 23:52.86).
The team will now wait to see if they earn one of the thirteen at-large spots for the NCAA Championships, which will be announced Sunday night at 6 p.m.