Women Win, Men Take Second As Cross Country Opens Season at Illini Challenge

Sam Penzenstadler won the 6K race at the Illini Challenge this evening

Sam Penzenstadler won the 6K race at the Illini Challenge this evening

Sept. 1, 2012

Urbana, Ill. - Sophomore Sam Penzenstadler earned medalist honors for the men and juniors Alyvia Clark and Megan Janezic finished second and third, respectively, on the women's side as Loyola's cross country team opened its 2012 season this evening at the Illini Challenge in Urbana, Ill. The women's team finished first in the eight-team field while the men finished second behind the host Fighting Illini.

The women's squad was terrific as three Ramblers earned top-10 finishes. Clark covered the 4K course in 14:47 to take second place behind Butler's Olivia Pratt and was seven seconds ahead of Janezic, who took third in the 65-woman field. Freshman Sydney Stuenkel had an impressive collegiate debut, finishing sixth in 14:58. Senior Colleen Baker (15:27) finished in 13th position while freshman Ericka Laviste rounded out the scoring for the Ramblers, taking 16th overall in 15:32.

On the men's side, Penzenstadler was terrific, picking up where he left off during the track and field season. The sophomore edged out Illinois' Tommy King to take the top spot, posting a time of 18:31 over the 6K layout. Junior Jake Autio also earned a top-10 finish, finishing seventh in 18:52. Junior Alex Thornburg (13th, 19:14), senior Oscar Aguinaga (18th, 19:31) and freshman Mitch Baum (27th, 19:56) rounded out the scoring for the Ramblers.

Loyola takes next week off before competing at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship on Sept. 14 in Normal, Ill.