Aug. 28, 2014
BEAUMONT – Eleven Cardinals and Lady Cardinals are set to make their cross country debuts on Friday evening as Lamar hits the road for College Station to participate in the Texas A&M Aggie Opener.
The races, which will also feature teams from Stephen F. Austin and Rice, will feature pairs of teammates participating in 2,000-meter loops. Each individual male will run a total of 6,000 meters and the women will complete 4,000.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how practice translates over to competition,” cross country coach Darren Gauson said. “We’re going to be up against some of our South Central Region rivals, and it’ll be nice to see how we match up with them. It’s a little bit of a different format than normal, so that recovery time should help us a bit with the heat.”
On the men’s side, the Cards will be looking for strong starts from its German contingent in Tobias Riker and Jan Lukas Becker. Joining them in their LU debuts will be Italian Federico Gasbarri and Texan Andres Espinosa. Sophomore Sean Chalmers is the only returning letterman to participate in the race, and the duo of TaMar Hicks and Tye Norman, who have each competed for LU in track last season, is slated to run their first-ever cross country race for the Red and White.
Kaitlynn Warren will be the most senior participant on the women’s side, as she’ll be looking to kick off her junior campaign in style. Belinda Aguilar, who scored in the conference outdoor meet last spring, Megan Flanagan and Rachael Davee will make up the rest of the returners. Freshmen Chaynee Atwood
, Justine Franklin, Cara Ortiz
and Aleksandra Sokolova will round out the rest of the squad.
Among the Cards not slated to compete are All-Southland honorees from a season ago Sam Stabler and Ryan Creech. They could make their 2014 debuts in a fortnight’s time at the annual Rice Invitational, where LU fans may also get a chance to see some of the other standout newcomers expected to wear the Lamar shirt over the course of this season.
Collectively, the Cardinal men are ranked third in the region in the latest USTFCCCA rankings. The women are sixth.
The Aggie Opener will begin at 6:15 p.m. with the women’s race and continue with the men at 7:05. Both competitions will take place at the Aggie Cross Country Course in College Station.