GREENVILLE, Ill. - In the 2009 season, the Greenville College Lady Panthers again displayed their supremacy, as they raced their sixth consecutive St Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and their 14th in the last 15 years.
Last year’s success was lead by two of the fastest ladies in school history, returning seniors Michelle Sutton (Springport, Mich./Jackson) and Shanna Ambuehl (Kinmundy, Ill./Kinmundy). Together they consistently scored among the Lady Panthers’ top finishers, leading Greenville College to another title.
This season the Panthers will again rely heavily on their seniors for leadership. With a team that only has three upper classmen and nine women on the roster, the Lady Panthers have a smaller team than it is usually accustomed. “It will be important for us that we stay injury free,” commented 16th year head coach Brian Patton. “If someone goes down, we will need the younger ladies to step up quick if we want to contend.”
Sutton will again look to help lead the Panthers in 2010. She picked up her second individual conference championship of her career last year and also earned the honor of runner of the year in 2010. She then ran the forth fastest time in school history (22:57) in the women’s 6000-meter contest to finish 43rd at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championship in Oshkosh, Wis.
Ambuehl will look build on the SLIAC newcomer of the year award she earned last year. Ambuehl also raced for the seventh fastest 6K time in school history (23:17) that she posted at the Division III regional meet.
“2010 looks to bring the same results as 2009,” said Patton. “We don’t have the depth that we have had in the past, and that hurts. But we do have some very talented and fast girls, and some of the best teammates you could ask for.”
The women will kick off their season Saturday, Sept. 4 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. The season will then build to the Saturday, Oct. 30 SLIAC Championships in Hillsboro, Ill., and will be followed by the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Augustana, as the Panthers look to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championships at Wartburg College in Wartburg, Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 20.