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
Ramblers Run Regionals
Loyola Women’s Cross Country Team Ready For Best NCAA Regional Showing Yet
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! 😉