Women Repeat as Valley Cross Country Champions
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Oct. 27, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - After being the preseason favorite and ranked No. 1 heading into the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships, the Illinois State women's cross country won the team title for the second-straight season with a convincing team score of 42. Four Redbirds finished in the top eight in the race Saturday, as the Redbirds claimed their seventh conference title in program history. It was the first time since 1984 that the Redbirds successfully defended their title, when they won three-straight from 1982-84.
Illinois State finished two, three, seven and eight, solidifying the team championship. Rachael Brewer paced the Redbirds with a second-place finish overall, crossing the finishline in 17:31. Just behind Brewer was Elise Sigg finishing third with a time of 17:34. Kim Christensen ran a personal-best time of 17:53, finishing in seventh, while teammate Kelly McShea was on her heels in eighth place, turning in a career-mark of 17:54. Sarah Castel rounded out the top-five for ISU, running a personal-best time of 18:15 for 22nd place. Brewer, Sigg, Christensen and McShea earned All-Valley honors for their top-10 performances. As a result, head cross country coach Jeff Bovee was named the 2012 Women's Coach of the Year.
In addition, Sigg was named the recipient of the Elite-18 Award, which recognizes the highest achievements at the championships both athletically and academically. She had the highest grade-point average (GPA) and placed the highest out of everyone in the running for the award. The Valley turned in three runners in the top-10 that had 4.0 GPAs.
Wichita State finished second with a team score of 83, while Southern Illinois was third with 96 points. Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton from Wichita State defended her individual title from a year ago, breaking the course record by three seconds with her time of 16:59.
On the men's side, sophomore Ryan Rutherford cracked the top-10 for his first All-Valley performance, turning in a time of 24:49. Joining him in the top-five for the Redbirds, helping the team to a sixth-place finish overall was Sean Senf (25:29), Andrew Sandoval (25:49), Tyler Morse (25:51) and D.J. Taylor (25:59). Senf's time was a personal-best.
Southern Illinois (34) won the men's team championship, edging out second-place finisher Indiana State (40) by six points, breaking the Sycamores unbeaten streak of three.
The Redbirds return to action in two weeks, as they travel to Springfield, Mo., for the NCAA Midwest Regional Cross Country Meet hosted by Missouri State, Nov. 9.
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