Fresno, CA - Since 1940, Geneva′s athletic teams have been participating as members of the NAIA. On Saturday, that run came to an end with the conclusion of the 2006-07 athletic calendar at the NAIA track and field nationals at Fresno Pacific University. A record four Geneva participants took place in the marathon event, which marked the end of Geneva′s stay in the NAIA at 68 years.
Two men and two women toed the line for the start of the marathon and each had athlete enjoyed great success, but it was senior Dee Koutsourais (pictured above) that made the biggest impact on the national stage with her seventh place finish, the best of any Geneva athlete is school history. Koutsourais finished the race with a time of 3:05.48, which was just 14 minutes behind the winner. Teammate Beth Bartolomeo also was solid with her 15th place showing. Bartolomeo finished her season with a time of 3:18.36, which was less that one second out of the 14th spot.
On the men′s side, Andrew Foxenberg was Geneva′s top finisher in 16th spots with an impressive time of 2:36.11. John Perkins finished the race in 40th place with a time of 2:55. Perkins now has the claim to fame of being Geneva′s final student-athlete to participate in the NAIA. When Perkins crossed the finish line, Geneva′s stint in the NAIA came to an end.
Geneva will begin play in NCAA Division III and the Presidents′ Athletic Conference beginning next fall as provisional members for the next four years. As for its time in the NAIA, Geneva will always be considered one of the pioneers of the NAIA as one of its charter members at inception back in 1940. Geneva will also end its eight year stay in the American Mideast Conference as it begins play against some of its more natural rivals across Western Pennsylvania.