SPORTS

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October 6, 2004

Cross country sprints past D-! pack

This weekend the 15th-ranked men's and 22nd-ranked women's cross-country teams competed in Loyola University's Seal Earl Lakefront Invitational. Despite depleted rosters due to various commitments and some of the region's top Division-I competition, both teams excelled, placing top ten in the team standings.

The women—competing in the maroon division 5k course—placed tenth, despite two of their top three runners (fourth-year Erin Steiner and second-year Dilshanie Perera) not traveling with the team. Third-year Jessica Winter continued her excellent fall season with an 11th-place finish out of 381 competitors (18:52). Second-year Vidthya Abraham had a particularly great race, running a personal-best 19:53 for the 50th spot.

Having already shown their existing talent, the Maroons hope to continue improving, particularly in late stretches. "We're really working on staying focused during the second mile," said second-year Jenny Fisher, who rounded out Chicago's top seven with a time of 21:12.

The men—running in the competitive gold division's 8k course—once again showed the talent and depth that has vaulted them to the program's highest ranking in school history. Considering the 249 runners in the division, the men did an exceptional job of maintaining contact and working together, earning them five top-fifty finishers.

Fourth-year Jermoe Tharaud blew away his previous season-best eight-kilometer run (his 26:27 two weeks ago at UW--Whitewater) with a time of 25:23, earning him 26th place. Third-years Teage O'Connor (37th, 25:31) and Pat Hogan (40th, 25:35), first-year Ryan McCarl (43rd, 25:41), and second-year Emil Bojanov (48th, 25:43) rounded out the Maroons' strong top five. With only 20 seconds separating the first and fifth runners, the men's team once again showed the depth that could make them a force to be reckoned with in upcoming national competition.

This weekend the cross-country teams head to Beloit, Wisconsin for the Old English Classic.