The Women of LUXC
English, B.A., Loyola University Chicago, Class of 2015
Digital Media & Storytelling, M.Comm., Loyola University Chicago, Class of 2017
Loyola Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women Place Fourth at the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships
Two Ramblers Earn All-Conference Honors
EVANSVILLE, Ind., November 4, 2015 – Loyola University Chicago Women’s Cross Country team battled hard to a fourth place finish in a close race at the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships this past weekend on Saturday, Oct. 31. The race was hosted by University of Evansville on the UE Cross Country at Angel Mounds State Historic Site, 8215 Pollack Ave. Seniors Sydney Stuenkel and Ericka Laviste led the way for the Ramblers, earning Second-Team All-Conference honors.
The Ramblers ran in a tight pack up in the front from the second the gun went off. Stuenkel was the first Rambler to cross the finish line, placing 12th overall with a season-best time of 17:34. Laviste was just steps behind her, placing 13th overall with a new personal-best time of 17:36. Two other personal-bests were earned for Loyola at the meet. With a hard close during the second half of the race, Lindsey Brewis finished 21st with a personal-best time of 17:49, coming through in a big way at the conference meet for the LUXC women for the second year in a row. Freshman Julia Demko impressed and was next to cross the line for Loyola, finishing 26th with a personal-best time of 17:53. Emma Hatch, who set the pace early on in the race for the Rambler pack, rounded out the scoring, placing 30th with a season-best time of 18:07.
The race was extremely close for the third through fifth place team finishes. A talented Bradley University team captured first place at the meet with a total of 54 points. Wichita State University took second place with a total of 76 points. Illinois State University rounded out the top three with 94 points. The Ramblers almost edged out Illinois State, finishing next with 102 points. Indiana State was close behind with 107 points. The Loyola women were hoping for a top two or three finish, but in a conference as competitive as the Missouri Valley, you have to be all on all the time. Between all of the talented teams in the conference, any one of these teams could have won on any day.
For senior and top finisher for the Ramblers Sydney Stuenkel, it was a very emotional day on the course, as it was her last conference meet suiting up for the maroon and gold.
“I thought the meet went really well,” Stuenkel said. “I felt like everyone battled as hard as they could on this particular day, and I personally felt the spirit out there on the course. It was very impactful on my performance. I don’t think I’ve ever run a more spirited cross country race. We didn’t necessarily get the team result we felt that we earned from our efforts, but I am beyond proud of each and every person on our team, those that raced and those that did not and were there to support us. I was surprised at how much those emotions fueled my performance. I can’t think of a better team to have ran my last cross country conference race with.”
The Missouri Valley Conference, the second oldest collegiate athletic conference in the United States, prides itself on fostering great competitions, and at the 2015 Cross Country Championships it was once again proven to be true. The Rambler women put on an exciting and hard-fought show on a nice fall day out on the cross country course.
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About the Women of LUXC
The Loyola University Chicago Women’s Cross Country team is comprised of 21 talented and fast female athletes that are currently ranked 12th in the Midwest region. As a Division I team, they compete across the nation against all of the best cross country teams. They are a part of the second oldest athletic conference in the U.S., the Missouri Valley Conference. Their races are mostly either five or six kilometers in distance and take place in parks, wooded areas, or on golf courses. Loyola University Chicago is the only NCAA Division I program with the nickname “Ramblers” for its teams. After an injury-plagued season last year, the healthy and stronger-than-ever Ramblers look to build off of their fourth place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships and their tenth place finish in the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional in 2013. The team finds a lot of strength in their tight pack known as “the pelvis,” the women that run in a group together up in the front of races. Race along with the Ramblers on Twitter @TheWomenofLUXC. Be careful: they are fast! 😉