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Saint Mary’s places in NCAA regional

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Six members of the Saint Mary’s Cross Country team gave a strong showing on Saturday at the NCAA Division-III Great Lakes Region Championship meet. Saint Mary’s finished with a score of 608 and placed 22nd out of 26 scoring teams at the meet.

The overall winner of the meet was Shannon McConville from John Carroll University. McConville finished in a time of 21 minutes 31 seconds.

A total of 32 teams were represented at the regional competition. Denison University took first place at the meet with a score of 84, followed by DePauw University and Kenyon College who brought in scores of 99 and 136, respectively.

Last year’s regional champions, Mount Union College, finished fourth place with a score of 152.

Megan Gray, Erin Nolan, Meghan Murphy, Becky Feauto, Risa Zander and Sara Otto ran for the Belles in the 6000-meter race that officially completed the Saint Mary’s 2004 cross country season. All of the runners achieved their best performances of the season for a 6K.

Gray, the only freshman to compete for Saint Mary’s on Saturday, finished first for the school and 99th overall with a time of 24:14.4. Zander, who was the only senior to represent the team on Saturday, gave her final showing as a Saint Mary’s runner. Zander, co-captain, was a consistently dependable runner for the team, nearly always placing within the top five or six for Saint Mary’s.

Coach Dave Barstis has counted on Zander, along with co-captain and senior Elizabeth Commers, to provide leadership for a team comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores.

For the rest of the women, Saturday was one more opportunity to prepare for next season’s conference competition. Nolan and Otto have become increasingly effective for the Belles in their sophomore years.

Feauto, who will return for her senior year, has consistently finished strong for the Belles. For Gray and Murphy, the 2004 season was their first with Saint Mary’s. Both runners finished in first and second for the team throughout the season. With a year of experience, these two will be looked upon to play a more critical role for the team next season.