Joe Byrne Wins the Saluki Fast Start Cross Country Meet

    Joe Byrne won the Saluki Fast Start on Friday
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    Sept. 3, 2004

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    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Junior Joe Byrne ran a time of 19:29.03 for the Southern Illinois University men's cross country team Friday to win the Saluki Fast Start. The meet didn't count for team results as only individual times were tallied.

    Four other Salukis followed closely behind to give the Salukis the top five finishes for the three-team meet with Southeast Missouri State and Murray State.

    Byrne was happy with own performance, but even more thrilled that his teammates took the next four spots at the finish line.

    "It was great," Byrne said. "It was even better than winning."


    SIU's Tony LaChiana (Sr.) came in second place (19:59.64), Kyle Monroe (Jr.) took third (20:07.53), Diarmuid Grant (So.) finished fourth (20:08.28) and Hunter Sheldon (So.) ended up in fifth place (20:09.96).

    "One of the goals we talked about was finishing one through five," said SIU head coach Matt Sparks. "We accomplished that."

    The Salukis were without the services of senior standout Eli Baker, who was resting his legs for this event.

    "They did a good job of working together through the first half of the race," Sparks said.

    In the women's event, SEMO's Lindsay Zeiler finished on top (14:42.27), just ahead of Saluki freshman Jessica Ordway (14:52.85) and SIU sophomore Brittani Christensen (14:45.44).

    "I just wanted to go out and have a good first race," Ordway said. "I just wanted to see what I could do."

    Christensen added, "I think as a team we're more pumped than anything. Now we know that we can feel comfortable at that pace that we went out there with."

    Sparks was pleased with the women's performances, despite running without three members of the team.

    "Some of the older people pushed the younger people along," Sparks said. "We just want our athletes to train through this and make sure they are ready to go for October."

    The Salukis will be back in action Sept. 11 at the Memphis Twilight Classic in Memphis, Tenn.