Cross Country Teams Have Strong Showing at 40th Annual Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational

Senior Gina Valgoi finished fourth in her final Sean Earl Invitational.

Senior Gina Valgoi finished fourth in her final Sean Earl Invitational.
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Sept. 29, 2012

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Chicago - The Loyola University Chicago men's and women's cross country teams both performed well today as they hosted the 40th Annual Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational at Montrose Beach in Chicago. Loyola's men's team accrued 92 points to secure a fourth place finish, while the women's side totaled 112 to lock up second place. Wisconsin (51 points) and McMaster University of Canada (105 points) claimed the men and women's team titles, respectively.

The Loyola women faced a challenging field, finishing ahead of regional foes Northwestern, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois. As she did in her previous meet, senior Gina Valgoi paced the Ramblers, posting a time of 17:35 on the 5k course to finish second overall. Like the year before at the Sean Earl Invite, juniors Alyvia Clark and Megan Janezic were not far behind Valgoi. Clark's time of 17:53 earned her a ninth place finish, while Janezic finished in eighteenth with a time of 18:06. Freshman Sydney Stuenkel also had an impressive showing in her first Sean Earl Invite, finishing 24th with a time of 18:13.

As he has in each of the other two meets this year, Sophomore Sam Penzenstadler was the first to cross the finish line for the Ramblers in the 8k race, finishing eleventh with a time of 25:02. Senior Oscar Aguinaga (25:17) and junior Jake Autio (25:20) also placed in the top twenty for the Ramblers. Head Coach Randy Hasenbank was full of praise for both his men and women.

"I thought both of our sides ran well today," said Hasenbank. "The level of competition was extremely high and it is never easy being able to manage the unique feelings that come with running in your only home meet for the year. I loved the way our upperclassmen stepped up as leaders and was also very impressed with how some of our freshman ran in their first Sean Earl Invite."

The collegiate races were just part of a busy two days of racing. Team winners and medalists from the other races are listed below.

NIRCA Mens - Michigan, Jordan Eccleston (Michigan)
NIRCA Womens - Michigan, Kristen Schneider (Illinois State)
High School Varsity Boys - New Trier, Grant Nykaza (Beecher)

High School Varsity Girls - Minooka, Annie Heffernan (Cin. St. Ursula Academy)
High School JV Boys - Shawnee Mission East, Joe Bahr (Shawnee Mission East)
High School JV Girls - Shawnee Mission East, Annie Kuklenski (Shawnee Mission East)
High School Frosh/Soph Boys - Cognant High School, Zach Dale (Cognant High School)
High School Frosh/Soph Girls - Minooka, Abbey Osborn (Deerfield)
Middle School Boys - Beecher JHS, Evan Radomski (Sacred Heart)
Middle School Girls - Wilmette JHS, Katie Glew (Wilmette JHS)
Elementary School Boys - St. Benedict, Michael Molloy (St. Benedict)
Elementary School Girls - Latin School of Chicago, Emily Breitenecker (Latin School of Chicago)
Rambler Open 5K - Emil Bojanov (16:00)

Loyola will return to action on Oct. 13 at the NCAA Pre-National Meet in Louisville, KY.