Ramblers Run Regionals

The Women of LUXC

Media Contact:

Ally Spiroff

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




Ramblers Run Regionals

Loyola Women’s Cross Country Team Ready For Best NCAA Regional Showing Yet

Photo credit: Loyola Ramblers Athletics
Photo credit: Loyola Ramblers Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan., November 12, 2015 – The Loyola University Chicago women’s cross country team is all set to compete in NCAA Division I Midwest Regional meet tomorrow at noon (CST). The meet, hosted by the University of Kansas, will be held at Rim Rock Farm. The Ramblers, many coming off of personal-best and season-best times at the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championship, are going into the meet well-equipped for their best regional finish yet.

At the regional meet, the top two teams in the region earn automatic bids to the NCAA Division I National Cross Country Championships hosted by the University of Louisville on Nov. 21, along with the top four individuals not on an advancing team. At-large bids are then given out to addition teams and individuals following the regional races. In the Midwest region, the Ramblers will race opponents from 13 different conferences, six opponents from the Missouri Valley Conference, and three nationally ranked teams, including No. 16 Iowa State University, who won the meet last year.

The women came in fourth place at a close MVC Conference meet on Halloween two weeks ago. Seniors Sydney Stuenkel and Ericka Laviste led the team and earned all-conference honors, both placing in the top 20 at the meet. The next three Ramblers to cross the line were Lindsey Brewis, Julia Demko, and Emma Hatch, and they were within less than a thirty second spread behind Stuenkel and Laviste, all placing in the top 30. The Missouri Valley once again proves to be a strong conference, as the top four teams are ranked in the Midwest region as of last week. The top three teams at the Missouri Valley meet are ranked fifth, ninth, and 11th in the region: Bradley University, Wichita State University, and Illinois State University, respectively. Loyola is ranked 12th, right behind Illinois State.

The race was tight between Loyola and Illinois State at the conference meet, as well as throughout the season. Early on in the season at the Illinois State University Cross Country Invitational, Loyola beat out Illinois State, but at a later season meet, the Bradley University Classic, Illinois State beat Loyola. At the conference meet, Illinois State just barely edged out the Ramblers, 94 points to 102 points. In the 2013 Midwest Regional meet, the Ramblers’ best regional finish (tenth place) to this date, they finished higher than Illinois State after getting beat by them at the Missouri Valley Conference meet that year. The goal for this year’s regional is for the same results to happen again and to place in the top 10 teams in the region.

The conference meet was a 5-kilometer race and the regional meet will be a 6-kilometer race, but the extra “k” will not make a difference for the Ramblers. They proved that they could more than handle the 6k distance earlier in the season, despite the loss to Illinois State, with a great showing at the Bradley Classic. Running up in the front of races in a tight pack, the Loyola women are definitely setting up well to dip into the top 10 at the regional meet, and then some. Follow along @TheWomenofLUXC for updates on the race, as well as live results on the Kansas University Cross Country website. Also on the Kansas website, you can find links to the list of the teams participating, the 6k course map, meet history, and directions to the meet. Tomorrow morning, you can follow @KansasXC as well for updates on the meet, including weather and course reports. You can find information on all of the other NCAA Division I Regional meets on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s website.

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! 😉


Published by Ally Spiroff

I am Ally Spiroff, and what seems like seven short years ago I created a Twitter account, @runningforlife2. I tweeted how I felt and what I was doing. I tweeted about my greatest passion in life, running. I also tweeted about my other passions, food, music, movies, books, pop culture, writing, traveling, and life. Before I knew it, people (mostly those people in the running community but others too) began to latch onto my life. Then, I realized, “hey, this Twitter thing is pretty cool.” I get to write about what I love. I get to tell my story. The world around me, all of my people, get to ride along with me as I take on the world, one day at a time. People can watch me grow. I can watch other people grow. The Twitter handle has evolved into @allyspiroff over time. With it, the content has also evolved, but the same crazy woman is behind the content. :) So what exactly is my story? Who exactly is Ally Spiroff? I graduated with a Master's in Communication from Loyola University Chicago in May 2017. I was a Division I collegiate athlete there for five years, all four of my undergraduate and one of my graduate years. I graduated with honors in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s in English. In the winter/spring 2015-2016 due to a redshirt season of indoor and outdoor track, I returned to run a fifth year. Since I have always thought that it is more fun to jump over water and other obstacles than just run normal laps around the track and I like a good challenge, I am a steeplechaser by nature. I got to chase fast steeple times for one more season at Loyola, as well as run the 3k, 5k, and even the mile/1500 with my teammates that double as my best friends, sisters, inspirations, and the greatest people you will ever meet. Now, you might ask, how did I still run at Loyola if I graduated in the spring of 2015? I started the cutting-edge graduate program Digital Media & Storytelling in the fall of 2016 at Loyola. It was a two-year program, so I was blessed with another year at the wonderful Jesuit institution to finish up my Master's degree. After obtaining both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I have become an experienced writer and researcher. Through graduate work, I have become well versed in Adobe Creative Commons software programs, specifically Photoshop and shooting and editing video in Premiere Pro, and in Google Analytics, along with other search engine optimization tools. Through an abundance of internship experience, I became extremely proficient in news editing software programs. I have lots of experience in the newsroom and writing for news producers as well as out in the field on assignment and in working with a variety of people. My experience as an undergraduate and a graduate student while simultaneously being a Division I collegiate athlete on Loyola’s cross country and track teams as well as in a variety of jobs/internships and volunteer work has helped develop my confidence, drive, responsibility, time management, sense of teamwork, people skills, communication, troubleshooting skills, attention to detail, critical thinking skills, leadership, planning skills, and even a sense of humor. I also have extensive experience with all outlets of social media. As I mentioned before, I am an avid tweeter and Instagram user, with 1,450+ followers on Twitter. I have lots of experience with creating and building content for websites. I also run the website I created for my graduate school capstone project, titled "Wise Old Women." I am on Pinterest, Foursquare/Swarm, and Facebook as well. I wrote in the arts and entertainment section of my university’s award-winning newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. You can find my running profile on the Loyola Ramblers website. You can find all about my collegiate running career on TFRRS. Of course, you can also catch me on LinkedIn. I am lucky because I get to tell people’s stories for a living online, through digital media and other means. Currently, I live in New York City and I'm the Digital Editorial Assistant at Runner's World magazine, and I'm a freelance writer for VICE's health vertical, Tonic. I really love life. I have big dreams. I do not know where my dreams will take me, but I am confident that they will take me far. I am an open book. I like sharing myself with anybody who wants to listen. I am enjoying the opportunity to further my education every day and perfect my craft. I love learning something new every single day about myself, others, and the world around me. Besides being a multimedia journalist and a city dweller, I am a literature (Hemingway and Plath are my favorites) and grammar nerd, a hippie, a music fanatic, a foodie, a concert-goer, a traveler, a huge sports fan, a fashionista, an art lover, and an urban explorer who likes natural adventures (like hiking up mountains in Alaska) as well. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I conquer it. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, though, and no matter where I go, I never forget my roots. Milwaukee will always be my city and where my heart truly lies. I have quite the eye for unique knick-knacks. My spirit animals are the grasshopper and the gazelle. When I take the Essential Enneagram Test, I am #3. I am a hard worker with relentless energy. I am everyone’s sister. I am nutty but in a way that I like it. I think that God is so good and we are blessed to get to walk this earth every day. I believe that every person has the right to be exactly who they are. I am dreaming big, with my head in the clouds, but there is still some common sense in there somewhere. ;) Turning over a new leaf in my life, at the start of grad school, I wanted to create a comprehensive website where I could connect you to all of my social media outlets. I will continue to share my running experiences and life journey through this awesome outlet we now have called the World Wide Web, and I hope that everyone continues to enjoy all things Ally Spiroff. Peace, love, and running (fast), Ally Spiroff

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