Cross Country Sweeps EIU Panther Open

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    Sept. 17, 2004

    By Jeff Honza

    CHARLESTON, Ill. - Led by individual titles from junior Joe Byrne and sophomore Brittani Christensen, the Southern Illinois University men's and women's cross country teams each won their respective races earlier tonight at the Eastern Illinois University Panter Open.

    Byrne, who registered a time of 24:39.97 in the men's 8K, claimed his second individual title this season. The Ireland native was one of four Salukis who finished in the top-10.

    Eli Baker, who ran in his first meet of the season, finished fourth with a 25:03.26, while Diarmuid Grant (7th; 25:35.33) and Tony LaChiana (8th; 25:37.75) also ran strong.


    Meanwhile, Christensen, who sat out last week's meet in Memphis, stormed back with a 18:04.86 mark to take first-place honors in the women's 5K.

    Sarah Rinker (3rd; 18:10.06), Lindsay Wagner (5th; 18:13.90), Shelby Brice (18:31.57), Cherylynn Schilling (8th; 18:32.90) and Noa Beitler (10th; 18:46.34) also placed in the top-10, as SIU owned six of the top-10 times.

    As a team, the men tallied a total of 37 points, and defeated Eastern Illinois (54), SIU-Edwardsville (73), Western Illinois (102), McKendree College (147), Milliken (158) and Principia (167).

    The women, on the other hand, scored 22 points to beat WIU (59), EIU (73), SIUE (120), Milliken (134), McKendree (172) and Danville (193).

    SIU returns to action at the Notre Dame Invite on Oct. 1.