Nov. 14, 2012
CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago senior Gina Valgoi will cap off her storybook cross country career by competing in the NCAA Championships this Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The women's race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. central time and will be followed by the men's race at 12:15 p.m. at Tom Sawyer State Park.
"We're all very proud of what Gina has accomplished," said head coach Randy Hasenbank. "She's trained extremely hard, she is a great athlete and an ever better person. I think Gina is capable of a top-40 finish, which would earn her All-American honors."
Valgoi earned one of five individual qualifying spots in the Midwest Region by finishing in 6th-place, posting a time of 20:37 in the women's championship 6k race, at the NCAA Midwest Regionals in Springfield, Mo. last Friday. She becomes the first female cross country student-athlete in program history to qualify for the national meet.
"It means a lot to be the first female qualifier in program history," commented Valgoi. "Loyola has given me so much and I'll be proud to represent the university this Saturday. I don't really feel like there are any set goals that I have for myself. I just want to go out, have fun, do my best and compete."
Along with the Rambler senior, Mareike Schrulle (Iowa), Laura Galvan (Kansas State), Jessica Engel (Oklahoma) and Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton (Wichita State) also will compete as individual qualifiers out of the Midwest Region. Squads from Iowa State and Oklahoma State will be in attendance by virtue of their first and second place finishes, respectively, at the regional meet.