Fun run in Forest Park

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The Saint Louis University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed on Sept. 9 in the Forest Park Cross Country Festival at Aviation Field. Both teams started the season off strong, winning their respective opening team titles. Three SLU men placed in the top four, while five SLU women placed in the top seven.

The meet had two NCAA Division 1 p r o g r a m s c o m p e t i n g , with Saint Louis University beating out Southern Illinois for the victory. The victory for the women came partly behind strong runs from junior Courtney Link, who ran the women’s 5K in 19:35, and sophomore Amy Kieliszewski, who was not far behind with a time of 19:37.

The men’s win came behind a quick time from sophomore Manuel de Backer, who ran the men’s 6K in 18:55, which was good enough for second place overall in the event.

The Saint Louis University men had other strong contributors as well. Sophomore Dorrian Gordon, who posted a time of 18:58, and sophomore Matt Prest, who was just behind Gordon with a time of 18:59.

SLU head coach Jon Bell was pleased with the team’s performance in their first meet of the season. “The first meet of every season is always a little stressful for coaches as you aren’t always sure what you have as a team. Tonight, our men and women showed they can compete. We’re pleased with the way they executed their race plans and how they ran as a team. We’ll begin our preparations for Notre Dame t o m o r r o w , and continue to build off of tonight’s victories,” he said.

SLU will visit Notre Dame, Ind. for the National Catholic Championships that take place on Friday, Sept. 16. They will face stiff competition, including from the University of Notre Dame on their home field, but will hope to build on their strong performances in the Forest Park Cross Country Festival as the season unfolds.