Cross Country Places Seven on MVC Scholar-Athlete Teams

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    Cross Country Places Seven on MVC Scholar-Athlete Teams

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    Nov. 3, 2004

    By Jeff Honza

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois' women's cross country team placed six student-athletes on the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference women's Scholar-Athlete Team, the most of any league school since 1992.

    Twelve years ago, the MVC began honoring its cross country runners for their athletic and academic excellence. In 1992 and 1993, there were two teams - first and second -- consisting of at least 25 members combined. Indiana State had six honorees in '92.

    Following those years, the first and second squads merged into one team of 10 to 16 members in 1994, and for the last 10 seasons, the most scholar-athletes any conference school had was four (INS in 1994; SMS in 2002).

    Senior Noa Beitler (3.88 grade point average, Industrial Design) and sophomores Katie Birn (3.62 GPA, Physician Assisting), Brittani Christensen (3.37 GPA, Health Education), Sarah Rinker (3.81 GPA, Social Work), Cherylynn Schilling (4.0 GPA, Engineering) and Lindsay Wagner (3.79 GPA, Elementary Education) dominate the 16-member women's team. For Beitler, the honor marks the second of her career.

    On the men's side, Eli Baker garnered MVC academic honors for the third year in a row. A senior from nearby Marion, Ill., Baker carries a 3.32 GPA as an Education major.