Nov. 7, 2012
CHICAGO - Following a clean sweep of the team and individual honors at the 2012 Horizon League Championships, the Loyola University Chicago cross country teams will turn their attention to the NCAA Midwest Regional meet. The event will be hosted by Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.
The action is slated to begin at noon on Friday with the women's championship 6k race at the MSU Cross Country Course. The men's championship 10k race will follow at 1:15 p.m. Awards will be handed out immediately following the completion of the men's race.
Loyola is coming off a dominant showing at the Horizon League Championships but the strong field that has been assembled, including seven nationally ranked squads between the two championship races, will not allow the Ramblers to rest on their laurels.
"I'm very proud of how we ran at the Horizon League Championship meet but this provides us with another opportunity to elevate our program to new heights," commented head coach Randy Hasenbank. "Even though the competition will be fierce and the course is challenging, it is imperative that we continue to run well against some of the best squads in the nation."
On the men's side, 29 other teams will battle against the Ramblers, including No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 19 Tulsa and No. 29 Kansas. Sophomore Sam Penzenstadler and junior Jake Autio will hope to lead the Ramblers as they did at the Horizon League Championship meet. The competition won't be any easier on the women's side either. 34 teams, including No. 2 Iowa State, No. 21 Oklahoma and No. 28 Minnesota, will be waiting for the Ramblers on Friday afternoon in Springfield. Senior Gina Valgoi will be called upon to be a leader on Friday afternoon, as she looks to add another chapter to her historic career in Rogers Park.
The top two teams in each race, along with the top four individuals from each race not on an advancing team, will advance to the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, November 17.