May 9, 2014
CONWAY, Ark. – Ryan Creech was the star for the Lamar track team on Friday as the junior out of Cork, Ireland, closed out the first day of the Southland Outdoor Championships with a second-place finish in the 10,000 meter run at Bill Stephens Track on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas.
Creech, winner of the 5,000 meter title during indoor season, ran much of the opening first half of the race within the lead pack before beginning to methodically pick off runner after runner ahead of him. By the time that Creech passed Ryan Holroyd of McNeese State in the race’s last 1,200 meters, catching up to ultimate winner Nicholas Guerra was too tall a task, and he went on to finish the race with a time of 31:19.94.
“I hadn’t competed in the five weeks leading up to tonight, and I’d actually rate the feeling I have now as better than winning indoors,” revealed Creech. “I think, tactically, this was probably the best race I’ve ever ran. When it got a bit hurried at 5K, I knew that the pace was too hot for me, and [LU distance coach] Darren [Gauson] told me they were bluffing and weren’t going to hold it. I was starting to get a little worried when I fell back to sixth, but I was able to start passing them a bit later.”
Ash Harrell, who was running in his last race as a Cardinal, finished 18th in 34:21.49. The Englishman, who missed much of track season due to injuries, was named Southland Cross Country Newcomer of the Year en route to qualifying for nationals last fall.
On the women’s side, Belinda Aguilar was the top finisher in the 10,000, placing seventh in 38:09.23. Angela LaBorde was the second to cross the line, coming in 10th at 39:50.03. Nora-Beth Saunders and Kaitlynn Warren were 12th and 13th, respectively, at 40:20.81 and 40:30.97.
In the pole vault, Leslie Beard placed seventh, clearing 11 feet, eight inches, and Hannah Callaway was 15th
after topping a career-best 11 feet, 2.25 inches.
The Cards will continue action at the Southland Championships on Saturday before concluding Sunday afternoon.