WICHITA, Kan. – Jessica Waninger-Saroni helped the St. Mary’s women’s cross country team punch its ticket to regionals with a ninth-place finish at Saturday’s Heartland Conference championship.

Waninger-Saroni (Sr., Santa Claus, Ind.) crossed in 23 minutes, 40 seconds to help the Rattlers finish in a tie for fourth place, good enough to qualify for the NCAA Division II South Central Regional held Sat., Nov. 3 in Denver. She also was named All-Heartland Conference for her efforts.

The Rattlers tied with Arkansas-Fort Smith with 115 points, while Dallas Baptist, fueled by individual champion Kelsey Bruce, took the title with 15 points.

Angelique De Oliveira (Sr., Wattrelos, France) and DeAnna Patterson (Sr., Converse, Texas) finished 2-3 for the Rattlers, taking 15th and 23rd place individually, respectively, with times of 24:32 and 25:09.

Alicia Sanchez (So., Phoenix) finished 33rd with a time of 26:45, while Allison Manning (So., Mansfield, Texas) crossed in 26:48 to claim 35th place.

The Rattlers’ return to regionals marks the second straight year they’ve advanced to the regional event and the eighth overall in the program’s history. St. Mary’s finished 19th at last year’s regional race.

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