Noon Ends SIUE Career By Leading Cougars

Noon Ends SIUE Career By Leading Cougars

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Senior Aftan Noon found herself in a familiar spot leading the SIUE women's cross country team in her final meet Friday night at the Illini Open.

The Forsyth native placed seventh overall surrounded by a slew of runners from Northwestern. Noon ran the 5,000-meter course at the University of Illinois Arboretum in 18 minutes, 53 seconds.

"Aftan looked much better than last week," said SIUE Head Coach Eileen McAllister. "She led in the beginning but wasn't able to hold on and still ran a season best by 15 seconds."

Led by Noon, the Cougars finished second of the three competing teams. Northwestern claimed the team title while host Illinois took third.

Sophomore Dede Lofton (19:25) edged out her teammate and fellow sophomore Claire Brown (19:26) as the pair finished 14th and 15th, respectively.

Brown continued her streak of setting a new personal record at every meet this season as she shaved seven seconds off her previous best in a 5K.

"Claire ran very well to continue her streak," added McAllister.

Sophomore Kala Griffin finished her first season at SIUE with a 22nd-place effort crossing the finish line in 20:13.

"It was a good rebound for Kala after being ill and having to take time off in the middle of the season," said McAllister.

A trio of Cougar runners finished one after the other as Katie Trettenero (20:34), Ioana Citireag (20:38), and Hannah Lee (20:44) placed 29th, 30th, and 31st, respectively.

"Katie ran a personal best by 13 seconds," added McAllister. "She has worked so hard, and it certainly showed today."

While this may have been the final meet of the 2011 season, Coach McAllister said the Cougars will continue to train in November to emulate next season.

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