Redbird Women Win MVC Title
Aisha Praught
Aisha Praught

Oct. 30, 2011

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Illinois State women's cross country team won their first ever State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship, Sunday morning at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The women finished the race with four runners in the top ten to clinch the title.

The Redbird women were led by freshman Krista DeCeault (2nd - 17.40.0), senior Aisha Praught (3rd - 17:46.6), junior Elise Sigg (5th - 17:57.8) and sophomore Kristen Zillmer (10th - 18:22.9). Those four earned All-Valley honors with their top-10 finishes. Solidifying the victory for the women, crossing the line in fifth position for the Redbirds was sophomore Rachael Brewer who finished in 24th place with a time of 18:45.8.

This was the first MVC title in school history for the women's cross country team. Head coach Jeff Bovee couldn't be more proud of his team.

"We went out there and ran the perfect team race," said Bovee. "We knew that our top three had to match up with Wichita's top three, and we did just that. The key for us today was our four and five. Zillmer claiming the 10th spot and Brewer winning her battle with Wichita's number five runner was the difference in this race. I couldn't be more proud of these girls than I am right now. It was a total team effort, something we have been building for a number of years now. To grind it out and finally win it, its just awesome."

The men's team finished in fifth place behind Wichita State (4), Drake (3), Southern Illinois (2) and Indiana State (1). Leading the men's team, finishing in the top-20 was freshman Ryan Rutherford (13th - 25:37.1) and senior John Navarro (19th - 25:56.5). Andrew Sandoval (34th - 26:25.0), Sean Senf (35th - 26:28.5) and Griffin Nykaza (44th - 26:51.6) rounded out the top-five runners for the Redbirds.

The Redbirds run again in two weeks at the NCAA Midwest Regional Meet hosted by Northern Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 12. The meet is scheduled for 11 a.m. CST. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.