Lamar Men Continue Their Cross Country Run With Ninth Overall Title
Oct. 31, 2009
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The fourth time was the charm for Francis Kasagule.
The Lamar senior closed out his Southland Conference Cross Country career with his first individual title, following a pair of runner-up finishes and a third.
And he did it in record-setting fashion as he completed the 8-kilometer course in a time of 23:54, setting the championship record for the distance. The previous record time of 24:05 was set in 2007 by former A&M-Corpus Christi runner Shadrack Songok. Kasagule's time last year was 24:31.
"This is great for Francis and he showed today that he is the best runner in the conference," Lamar cross country coach Jake Stewart said.
The Cardinals also won the team crown for the fourth-straight year - with 38 points - and added to their record total with their ninth SLC title. McNeese State finished second with 65 points followed by UTSA (86), Stephen F. Austin (87) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (127).
Four Lamar runners finished in the top 10 and the five runners who scored were among the top-14 finishers. Joonas Harjamaki finished fifth (24:50), Bob Ahimbisibwe was eighth (24:24) and Drew Bean was 10th (24:31) to earn all-conference honors. The top-10 individuals earn all-conference recognition. Alex De La Garza finished 14th (25:01) with a personal best at the distance.
"Joonas had his best day of the season and Bob was the top freshman out there today and did great," Stewart added.
"Our guys were very focused today and they know what the end result for our season is and this was the first step. We have bigger goals and bigger aspirations."
Those goals and aspirations will have their next test in two weeks at the NCAA South Central Region Meet, held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Lamar head track & field coach Trey Clark added "The men have established a nice streak with the four titles and our expectation is to continue that streak.
"This is just one of our overall goals and we still have unfinished business. We are very much looking forward to the regional meet after this showing. If nothing else, it should be exciting."
On the women's side, Lamar's youthful team saw freshman Sam Walkow finish fourth overall as she toured the 6k course in 21:20 to claim all-conference honors.
"Sam ran a very smart race for a true freshman and can get better with experience," Stewart said.
The Lady Cardinals scored 156 points to tie for sixth with Nicholls.
"Karin had a very good race and Emily `pr-ed' by a minute," said Stewart. "They got out and ran aggressively and we showed that we are better than a year ago."
"I and very proud of the women that we had run today," Clark said. "We ran all underclassmen today and I am very proud of the effort they gave. We weren't at full strength but we are making progress and fully expect to build this program to the level where we can contend for conference titles on a regular-basis."
Men's Team Results
Women's Team Results
Men's Individiaul Top 10 (All-Conference)
Women's Individual Top 10 (All-Conference)