Three Loyola Cross Country Athletes Qualify for NAIA Nation

Three Loyola Cross Country Athletes Qualify for NAIA Nationals

Posted: November 7, 2009 for Cross Country and Track

Clinton, Miss.- Loyola’s men’s cross country runner Kieran Harper and women Hannah Dougherty and Madeline Falcone each qualified for the NAIA National Cross Country Championships with their performances in the GCAC Championships this morning at the Choctaw Trails.

Dougherty was the top Loyola performer in the women’s 5k. The freshman from Seattle finished second. She ran the sixth fastest time in Loyola history with a 19:46 just five seconds behind Ebony Harding of Xavier, who took the individual women’s title. Falcone was sixth in a time of 20:42. It is the second straight year that Falcone has qualified for the NAIA Championships.

Other competitors for Loyola included Mary Clara Hutchison 22:07 (13th place), Annelise Rickert 22:47.5 (19th place), Lauren Fereday 22:47.7 (20th place), Jenna Knoblach 23:39 (24th place), Clare Hearns 23:49 (25th place), and Olivia Taylor 25:57 (30th place). Hutchison and Knoblach had personal bests this morning.

Loyola finished in third place in the team competition with 60 points. Xavier took the women’s team title with 38 points. Spring Hill was second with 55 points.

On the men’s side, Kieran Harper finished in sixth place in a time of 29:11. His effort today was a personal best in the 8k. He has been Loyola’s top performer in all seven contests this season.

Alex Mayon was next over the line for the Wolfpack in a time of 30:44 to finish 16th. Kenny Tsao 31:11 (20th place), Galen Westerfield 31:11.9 (21st place), Alex Hall 31:34 (24th place), Adam Mayon 32:17 (28th place), Chris Graugnard 33:39 (33rd place), and Justin Fecke 36:43 (41st place). Tsao, Westerfield, Hall, and Mayon each recorded personal bests. Fecke ran his top 8k this season.

The Loyola men’s team finished tied for third place with Belhaven as both teams had 84 points. Xavier captured the men’s title with 25 points. Spring Hill was second with 43 points.

“While we did not achieve our team goals, both programs improved from the previous year and will continue to improve. We have a great young group that will continue to work hard and get better. We have three athletes moving on to the nationals. They will represent us well and I am proud of the effort that each athlete gave today,” said Loyola head coach Andy Canegitta.

Dougherty, Falcone, and Harper were also named to the GCAC’s All-Conference team. It is the second time that Falcone has been named All-GCAC.