Salukis earn seven cross country MVC Scholar-Athlete honors

    Three-time MVC Scholar-Athlete Brian Dixon

    Three-time MVC Scholar-Athlete Brian Dixon

    Nov. 5, 2013

    MVC ReleaseGet Acrobat Reader

    By Tyler Wooten

    ST. LOUIS. -- Saluki cross country earned seven Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete honors after sweeping both the men's and women's MVC Championships last weekend, the conference announced Tuesday.

    In order to be named an MVC Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must hold a cumulative GPA of 3.2, they must be at least a sophomore in athletic and academic standing, and they must finish among the top-20 runners at the conference meet.

    Seven honorees are the most for cross country in school history. These accolades come off an historic performance at the MVC Championships last Saturday at Drake University, where SIU became the first school since Illinois State in 1989 to sweep both the men's and women's titles. The Saluki men won their second championship in as many years, and the Saluki women earned their first MVC crown since 1992. Head coach Matt Sparks became only the second head coach in the history of the conference to win both the men's and women's titles in the same season (John Kornelson, Wichita State, 1987).

    Senior Brian Dixon (accounting, 3.93) was the lone honoree for the Saluki men. Dixon earned the honor for the third consecutive season after he narrowly missed out on his third consecutive All-MVC distinction with an 11th-place finish.

    The Saluki women racked up the remaining six Saluki honors, including two of the four perfect 4.0 GPAs recognized by the conference. All six top-20 Saluki finishers were honored: Kristen Levi (biological science, 3.93), Sadie Darnell (elementary education, 4.0), Kelley Gallagher (exercise science, 3.22), Krista Menghini (exercise science, 3.37), Tori Parry (physical education, 3.39) and Lacey Gibson (physiology, 4.0) were each honored. Darnell, the 2013 outdoor track and field MVC Elite 18 recipient, was the lone repeat honoree for the Saluki women.

    Southern will look to make their presence known on the national stage next Fri., Nov. 15, at the NCAA Regional hosted by Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

    Men's MVC Scholar-Athletes:
    11. Brian Dixon - Accounting, 3.93

    Women's MVC Scholar-Athletes:
    3. Kristen Levi - Biological Science, 3.93
    4. Sadie Darnell - Elementary Education, 4.0
    5. Kelley Gallagher - Exercise Science - 3.22
    12. Krista Menghini - Exercise Science, 3.37
    19. Tori Parry - Physical Education, 3.39
    20. Lacey Gibson - Physiology, 4.0