Men finish best ever at A-10’s

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The men’s cross country team performed their best yet at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships on Oct. 29 when they placed third overall. They also had three runners earn AllConference honors.

Nine men competed in the five-mile race for the Billikens. Sophomore Manuel de Backer led the pack with a fourth-place finish, the best ever for a Billiken at the A-10 Championships (24:47.3). Senior Neal Fitzpatrick was close behind in ninth place with a time of 24:59.9. Sophomore Matt Prest brought home 13th place for SLU with a time of 25:07.6.

The other six runners for the Bills were sophomore Lance Mueller, junior Hiob Gebisso, sophomore Wes Schoenthal, freshman Aaron Dugan, sophomore Sean Conlin and sophomore Colton Nettleton.

The squad finished with 85 points behind Dayton (57) and Duquesne (77).

The women finished ninth overall, running the 5K. Sophomore Anna Schmitz took the lead for SLU, earning 26th place with a time of 18:05.6. Fellow sophomore Courtney Link clinched 34th place with a time of 18:17.3.

Eight other runners competed for the women: sophomore Courtney Pfanstiel, freshman Hannah Pierson, sophomore Natalie Davis, junior Ellie Adams, freshman Megan Kress, senior Nina Razavi, sophomore Katie Anderson and sophomore Elise Marker.

Head coach Jon Bell commented on the teams’ performances. “Tis was a good racing weekend for the Billikens,” he said. “We knew the [men’s] team race was going to be close. Obviously we wanted to win, but third is a good result. [For both teams] we’re looking forward to regional championships in two weeks at Iowa.”

Next week, both teams will travel to Iowa City for the NCAA Midwest Regional on Nov. 11.