Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Naia Lindenwood Runs with Ncaa's Big Dogs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Naia Lindenwood Runs with Ncaa's Big Dogs

Article excerpt

Although the Lindenwood College cross country team doesn't have the name recognition of its counterparts in NCAA Division I, the Lions have a loud roar.

On Sept. 18, Lindenwood finished 10th among 31 schools, including several NCAA Division I programs, in the Midwest Collegiate Classic at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha.

"The exciting part is two of our top 10 runners didn't compete that day," Lindenwood coach Gary White said.

Even without Alan Schneider, who was nursing a hamstring injury, and Chris Rebello "who didn't have a good day," the Lions put four runners in the top 92 places, in a meet that included Purdue, Indiana, Indiana State and Loyola of Chicago.

Lindenwood's top runner was George Jedwski, a junior-college transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. He was 35th out of 324 runners with a personal-best time on the 8,000-meter (4.96 miles) course of 25 minutes 56 seconds.

Lindenwood's other finishers: Eric Krone, 66th overall (26:36); Shannon Blakey, 78th (26:48); Terry Tschappler, 92nd (26:55); and Mark Brimer, 131st (27:41).

White started the cross country program at Lindenwood in 1989. In a relatively short period, the Lions have grown into a program worthy of national recognition. In 1989, Lindenwood ranked 18th in the country.

Last year, Lindenwood ranked seventh in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

"The first rankings will come out next Monday, and the indication is that we will be in the top 10. I think we've earned the right to be there," White said.

Schools such as Mizzou and Illinois have a formidable presence on the cross country landscape of St. Louis. Lindenwood is starting to make its tracks, too.

This year's freshman class includes Oren Birks, from defending Missouri Class 3A champion St. Charles. Birks finished 11th at the state meet last year. Mike Fussner, from Parkway South, was ninth in Missouri Class 4A last year.

Tschappler is a former state runner-up in Missouri Class 1A-2A for Linn, Mo. Blakey, from Columbia Hickman, was 14th in Missouri Class 4A last year.

Kelvin Anderson goes by the moniker "Earthquake," but he's hardly been a tremor for the Southeast Missouri State football team this season. …

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