LEESBURG, Va. – Saint Louis junior Manuel de Backer became the first Billiken to capture an Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championship when he won the men’s 8K race Saturday morning at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia.

De Backer finished in 25:12.3, five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. He improved upon his fourth-place finish from last year, which at the time was the best finish in school history by a Billiken.

As a team, the Billiken men’s team finished in ninth place.

On the women’s side, Courtney Link paced the Billikens with a 26th-place time of 18:43.9 for 5K, while Katie Anderson was close behind in 33rd (18:55.5).

The women’s team finished 11th.


Men’s 8K (Overall finish, name, time)
1. Manuel de Backer, 25:12.3
38. Hiob Gebisso, 26:28.1
53. Ben Naeger, 26:46.5
61. Dorrian Gordon, 26:55.2
77. Aaron Dugan, 27:10.0
82. Colton Nettleton, 27:17.3
98. Sean Conlin, 27:46.6

Women’s 5K (Overall finish, name, time)
26. Courtney Link, 18:43.9
33. Katie Anderson, 18:55.5
59. Anna Schmitz, 19:23.0
62. Courtney Pfanstiel, 19:27.6
80. Natalie Davis, 19:46.8
90. Amy Kieliszewski, 20:00.0
94. Hannah Pierson, 20:03.2
103. Madeline Nathe, 20:21.5
117. Ellie Adams, 21:12.0