Potts still leading cross country

Annie Bahr

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WIU was one of 39 Division I cross country teams that competed Saturday in the Loyola (University) Beachfront Invitational. For the Westerwinds, junior Jennifer Potts led the way as the women placed ninth overall in the 16-team field. Eastern Kentucky University took first-place honors in the women’s race.

According to a press release, Potts took a 14th place, finishing 14th out of 386 runners in the 5K race with a time of 18 minutes, 26 seconds, which was 26 seconds slower than her personal best.

Following Potts for WIU were senior Carolyn Tabisz, who finished 74th with a time of 19:48, and sophomore Kelly Kennedy, who placed 113th in 20:16.

Coach Dave Miller said that Potts and Tabisz are having a pretty good year overall, while the rest of the women are running pretty inconsistently.

However, the ‘Winds have placed at about the halfway point in team competition all year.

“We can’t seem to get over the hump,” Miller said. For the men’s team, Miller said that they just don’t have enough depth. The Leathernecks finished 13th out of 16 teams.

Junior Dave Andrews and senior Adam Finley, two of the top three men’s runners, are either sick or hurt, according to Miller.

The ‘Necks’ top finisher, sophomore Chris Haydel, finished 148th out of 382 runners in the 8K race in 27:45.

The next WIU runners to cross the line were sophomore Eli Soliz (161st) with a time of 27:56 and sophomore Terry Covey (168th) in 28:02.Loyola came out of the meet with the first-place finish.

“Yesterday (Saturday) was the strongest meet we’ve been in as far as quality is concerned,” Miller said.

Since the strongest teams in the Mid-Continent Conference are EKU, UMKC and Youngstown State University, Miller thought WIU could be in fourth place, but Valparaiso University got ahead and took it. WIU will face Valpo again in two weeks when it heads to Kenosha, Wis., and with a victory, could capture the fourth-place ranking in the Mid-

Last year, both the men’s and women’s teams finished in sixth place. Miller thought the teams could have placed higher had they not had to drive to Buffalo, N.Y., to compete.

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