Women's Cross Country Records Best-Ever Finish at Atlantic 10 Championship

Freshman Luke Beuerlein paced the men's team with a 20th place finish in 25:35.9.

Freshman Luke Beuerlein paced the men's team with a 20th place finish in 25:35.9.

Oct. 29, 2005

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PHILADELPHIA - Amanda Brown saved her best performance of the season for Saturday as the sophomore led the Xavier University women's cross country team to a fifth place finish at the 2005 Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championships at Belmont Plateau. The women totaled 143 points for fifth place while the Xavier men claimed seventh with 184 points in the 14-team league. Duquesne claimed its first-ever title in the men's race and La Salle won its fourth title in the last five years on the women's side.

Brown battled through the steep hills of Belmont Plateau to finish second overall in the field of 125 runners with a time of 18:02.5 for her fourth top five finish of the season. Freshman Becky Clark turned in a gutsy performance with a time of 18:49.1 for 18th place. Co-captain Kelly Sraj was right on Clark's heels as the junior finished in 20th at 18:52.1. Joanna Gruber was XU's No. 4 finisher at 19:50.7 and senior Heather Stafford was the final scorer with a time of 19:53.0.

"Our team did really well today especially Kelly (Sraj) and Becky (Clark), who continued to perform great like they have all season long," said Brown. "Joanna (Gruber), Heather (Stafford) and Ashley (Stick) also performed well and Ashley's performance was huge as she stayed up with our four and five runners throughout the race. Today was definitely our best race of the season and I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish in two weeks."



Xavier's men were led by freshman Luke Beuerlein, who finished 20th in a time of 25:35.9. Sophomore Tony Matheus was second across the line for the Musketeers in 29th overall with a time of 25:58.1. Ben Milroy was XU's third finisher at 26:25.8, senior Paul Staudigel finished with a time of 26:27.2 and freshman Clinton Womack was the final scorer for XU in a time of 26:37.8.

"We performed well through some unfavorable weather conditions at the start of the race and our team really stepped it up on the tough hills of the course," said Beuerlein. "I felt ok personally and I hope that we continue our improvement as we compete at the Great Lakes Regional at IU in two weeks."

The future looks bright for Xavier as both the men's and women's programs will return six of its top seven runners next season. Xavier will close out the season on Nov. 12 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional hosted by Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.