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September 1, 2012

Benge wins collegiate debut against St. Ambrose

Junior Kate Benge made the most of her first collegiate cross country race, winning against St. Ambrose on Friday, August 31 at Sylvan Island in Moline, Illinois. The Vikings defeated the Queen Bees 29-31.

MOLINE, Ill. - Junior Kate Benge (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) made the most of her initial race as a member of the Augustana women's cross country team and helped lead the Vikings to victory in the process. Benge won the individual title and propelled her team to a 29-31 win over St. Ambrose in a 4,000 meter race on Friday, August 31 at Sylvan Island in Moline, Illinois.

It was the season opening race for both teams and for Benge, it was her first collegiate cross country race. She was a standout on the Vikings' track & field team this past spring but as late as early August, she was listed as a member of the Augustana women's cross country team. At the last minute she decided to go out for cross country instead of playing soccer and on Friday night that decision proved to be prudent.

Benge won the 4,000 meter race with a time of 15:21, beating runner-up Tina Eden of St. Ambrose (15:29) by nine seconds. The Queen Bees had runners in third and fourth (Chelsee Lisk and Rebecca Wilder both recording times of 15:35) before the next Augustana finisher. Sophomore Jessica Bacon (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) placed fifth in 15:36 and senior Tara Bistry (Joliet Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) was sixth in 15:43.

Junior Kristyn Barton (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) took eighth in 15:56 and sophomore Becca Sund (Palatine HS, Palatine, Ill.) was ninth in 16:11. Junior Kelsey Stockert (Peoria Notre Dame HS, Mapleton, Ill.) finished 11th in 16:19 and freshman Jeneen Schier (Oregon HS, Oregon, Ill.) was 15th in 16:41.

Augustana, under the direction of veteran head coach Fred Whiteside, will be in action again on Friday, September 14 at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship in Normal, Illinois.