Saluki women finish fourth, men 11th at NCAA Midwest Regional

    Sophomore Kelley Gallagher, along with Kristen Levi, earned All-Midwest Region honors for their top-25 finishes.

    Sophomore Kelley Gallagher, along with Kristen Levi, earned All-Midwest Region honors for their top-25 finishes.

    Nov. 15, 2013

    Men's Team ResultsGet Acrobat Reader | Women's Team ResultsGet Acrobat Reader
    Men's Individual ResultsGet Acrobat Reader | Women's Individual ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

    By Tyler Wooten
    SIUSalukis.com

    AMES, Iowa -- Saluki cross country concluded its monumental 2013 season on Friday at the NCAA Midwest Regional at Iowa State, where the Saluki women finished a program-high fourth place and the Saluki men finished 11th out of 29 teams.

    The Saluki women continued their historic 2013 season on Friday with a fourth-place finish at the regional -- eight spots better than their finish in 2012 at Missouri State. Fourth place is the highest regional finish in school history and it is the highest in the Missouri Valley Conference since Wichita State finished fourth in 2005.

    Ranked fifth in the region, Southern's women's squad was once again led by sophomore Kristen Levi, who finished 20th in the 6K with a time of 20:59.43. Teammate and fellow sophomore Kelley Gallagher finished right behind her in 21st place at 21:02.18. Both Levi and Gallagher earned All-Midwest Region honors for finishing within the top-25, becoming the first Saluki women to do so since Sarah Rinker in 2005 (15th place). This is the fourth time that head coach Matt Sparks has scored multiple all-region runners, as he did so with the Saluki men in three consecutive seasons from 2006-08.

    Juniors Sadie Darnell (32nd, 21:19.33), Mobola Rotibi (53rd, 21:39.18), Lacey Gibson (96th, 22:03.63) and Tori Parry (100th, 22:06.18) all finished within the top-100 for Southern.

    This finish comes off the heels of an exciting MVC Championship victory on Nov. 2, the first for the Saluki women's program since 1992. Southern returns all seven regional competitors in 2014, only four of whom will be seniors.

    "This is really exciting for the ladies because we have everybody returning next year as we look forward to a national bid," Sparks said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but this season and this finish here is a positive note going forward for this team."

    The Saluki men had a less than stellar day in Ames, finishing 11th out of 29 schools. Junior Nick Schrader concluded a solid season with a 46th-place finish in the 10K with a time of 31:20.94. Sophomore Oscar Medina finished behind him in 51st place at 31:26.84, and behind him were 2012 NCAA Qualifier Brian Dixon (71st, 31:57.04) and fellow senior Zach Dahleen (73rd, 32:01.59).

    Expectations were high for the Saluki men entering 2013. SIU won its second-consecutive MVC men's title on Nov. 2, the fifth under head coach Matt Sparks and the 14th in school history -- the most in conference history. However, this regional finish falls two places shy of last year's ninth-place mark.

    "I'm a little disappointed in the guys," Sparks said. "Brian has been nursing a hamstring injury for awhile now, but the whole group was a little off today. Winning conference was such an emotional high for them, and we couldn't regroup."

    Southern, ranked eighth regionally, had finished within the top-10 at the regional meet the previous six seasons. The Salukis lose key senior components in Dahleen, Dixon and T.J. Heffernan, but return Schrader, Medina and Juan Carrera in 2014.

    "One of our sources of pride in our men's program is finishing top-10 at the regional meet, so we need to get back to work," Sparks said. "We have a good group of guys coming back, so we're looking forward to another MVC championship, but also a better regional finish."

    Student-athletes who compete for the cross country team also compete on the Saluki track and field squad, which begins its season at home on Saturday, Dec. 7, with the Saluki Fast Start.

    Women's Team Results:
    1. No. 7 Iowa State - 39
    2. No. 16 Minnesota - 59
    3. Oklahoma State - 192
    4. Southern Illinois - 217
    5. Kansas - 218
    6. Missouri - 261
    7. Bradley - 265
    8. Illinois - 270
    9. Northwestern - 274
    10. Loyola - 277
    11. Illinois State - 286
    12. Tulsa - 309
    13. Kansas State - 317
    14. Saint Louis - 415
    15. South Dakota State - 433
    16. Wichita State - 451
    17. Drake - 503
    18. North Dakota State - 504
    19. UMKC - 506
    20. Nebraska - 509
    21. Iowa - 512
    22. South Dakota - 574
    23. Northern Illinois - 593
    24. North Dakota - 603
    25. Illinois-Chicago - 616
    26. Southeast Missouri - 637
    27. Eastern Illinois - 664
    28. SIU-Edwardsville - 763
    29. Creighton - 778
    30. DePaul - 837

    Women's Individual Results (6K):
    20. Kristen Levi - 20:59.43
    21. Kelley Gallagher - 21:02.18
    32. Sadie Darnell - 21:19.33
    53. Mobola Rotibi - 21:39.18
    96. Lacey Gibson - 22:03.63
    100. Tori Parry - 22:06.18
    140. Krista Menghini - 22:39.73

    Men's Team Results:
    1. No. 3 Oklahoma State - 45
    2. No. 13 Tulsa - 57
    3. No. 24 Iowa State - 113
    4. Oklahoma - 156
    5. Minnesota - 156
    6. Kansas - 158
    7. Illinois - 210
    8. Missouri - 212
    9. Nebraska - 320
    10. South Dakota State - 328
    11. Southern Illinois - 349
    12. South Dakota - 353
    13. Bradley - 361
    14. Iowa - 370
    15. Illinois State - 399
    16. Eastern Illinois - 418
    17. Loyola - 426
    18. Wichita State - 437
    19. UMKC - 476
    20. North Dakota State - 478
    21. Saint Louis - 510
    22. Southeast Missouri - 663
    23. SIU-Edwardsville - 666
    24. North Dakota - 674
    25. Kansas State - 732
    26. Western Illinois - 733
    27. DePaul - 808
    28. Creighton - 835
    29. Oral Roberts - 875

    Men's Individual Results (10K):
    46. Nick Schrader - 31:20.94
    51. Oscar Medina - 31:26.84
    71. Brian Dixon - 31:57.04
    73. Zach Dahleen - 32:01.59
    111. Cole Allison - 32:34.59
    116. T.J. Heffernan - 32:37.94
    174. Juan Carrera - 34:12.69

     

     

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