Esarco Paces UIS in Lewis Conference Cross-Over


Photographs courtesy of Randy E. Blue

University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) women’s cross country sophomore Gloria Esarco paced the Prairie Stars during Saturday’s Lewis Conference Cross-Over.

   Esarco claimed 176th in the college division and 181st overall with a personal-record 6K time of 25 minutes, 28.4 seconds. The Walworth, Wis. Native recorded the seventh-fastest time in UIS history by a sophomore.

   The Prairie Stars placed 27th with a team score of 854.

Kelsey Cleary locked up 209th (26:10.9).

  Lexi Yoggerst posted a 211-place finish (26:16.8). The Riverton native put together the 10th-fastest time in UIS history by a senior.

   Lexi Throne took 223rd (26:35.1) and Libby Price came in 230th (26:57.0).

  Western State Colorado University, ranked No. 3 in the latest United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II poll, coasted to first with a team score of 38 points.

   Eleventh-ranked Simon Frazer University came in second with 146 points, finishing ahead of No. 17 Azusa Pacific University (151), Western Washington University (175), No. 23 Pittsburg State University (181), No. 10 Walsh University (201), No. 19 Queens University of Charlotte (201), No. 15 Michigan Technological University (269) and No. 25 Point Loma Nazarene University (272), which rounds out the top 10 of the 28-team field.

     The University of Tampa, which is receiving votes nationally, earned 13th with a team score of 327.

    Western State locked up the top three spots, individually. Sophie Seward and Alicja Knieczek claimed first and second, respectively, posting times of 21:39.0 each. The two individuals were separated by less than a tenth of a second, the level of precision-timed for the meet. Anita Konieczek clocked a time of 21:44.8 to secure third.

     “We are doing things now to helps us be better later in the postseason when it counts,” UIS coach Scott Slade said. “We need to keep getting better, “I’m confident we will be there when the time comes.”

     UIS returns to action on Oct. 20 in the Festival Year Fiasco at 10 a.m. in Evansville, Ind.