AMES, Iowa – Saint Louis junior Manuel de Backer, in his first race since winning the Atlantic 10 Conference individual championship, broke the Billikens' 10K school record at the NCAA Regional.

De Backer crossed the finish in 30:08.91 to lead SLU and finish 49th overall. That mark betters the previous school record of 31:05, set by Michael Scolarici in 2014.

As a team, the men finished 21st overall, while the women placed 26th.

Courtney Link led the women's team with a 6K time of 21:42, which was 94th overall. Anna Schmitz followed closely with a time of 21:51.

"We had some great individual successes to close the 2017 cross country season," SLU head coach Jon Bell said. "We obviously did not achieve our team goals at the conference or regional meets, so we will reflect upon the season and figure out what we need to do differently for next season. 

"I couldn't be happier or more proud of Manuel's performance at the conference meet, and then again at the regional meet," Bell continued. "He ran very well. To win the conference championship, and then run the fastest cross country 10K in school history at the regional meet is a good way to close the season. Courtney Link ran a 6k PR at the regional meet, which is also impressive. 

"We begin the indoor track and field season the first weekend of December," Bell said, "so we will have the opportunity to regroup and begin the building process for next cross country season immediately."


Men’s 10K (Overall finish, name, time)
49. Manuel de Backer, 30:08.91
108. Hiob Gebisso, 30:59.27
111. Ben Naeger, 31:02.04
121. Dorrian Gordon, 31:09.50
131. Aaron Dugan, 31:20.19
175. Colton Nettleton, 33:00.13

Women’s 6K (Overall finish, name, time)
94. Courtney Link, 21:42
106. Anna Schmitz, 21:51
134. Katie Anderson, 22:05
150. Courtney Pfanstiel, 22:16
171. Hannah Pierson, 22:34
208. Amy Kieliszewski, 23:41