Cardinals win sixth straight Southland title

GO CARDINALS Matt Johnsen led Lamar with a second-place finish.
Matt Johnsen led Lamar with a second-place finish.

Oct. 31, 2011

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lamar University men's cross country team won its sixth consecutive Southland Conference championship Monday, as it dominated the 12-team field at the Piney Woods Country Club.

The Cardinals placed five runners in the top 10 to finish with 29 points, 34 better than runner-up UTSA's 63 points. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was third with 91 points. Lamar has won a conference record 11 men's cross country championships.

"It was a good day for us," Lamar coach Trey Clark said. "We ran well today."

Matt Johnsen led the Cardinals with a second-place finish, covering the eight-kilometer course in 24 minutes, 51.3 seconds, just behind Patrick Kimeli of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who won the race in 24:50.6.

Lamar's first five finishers earned All-Conference honors for finishing in the top 10. Tom Wade was fourth in 24:57.5, Bob Ahimbisibwe was sixth in 25:16.2, Joe Wade was seventh in 25:19.8 and Anthony Pequeno was 10th in 25:26.6.

In addition, three other Lamar runners just missed out on earning All-Conference accolades. Sam Stabler was 12th in 25:34.5, Sam Bradley was 13th in 25:42.3 and Ryan Creech was 16th in 25:48.2.

Creech's 16th-place finish was better than the top finisher on six teams.

"We've got a good balance in our program," Clark said. "Everybody from the seniors to the freshmen understands the tradition of success we have established here, and they all want it to continue."

The Lamar women's cross country team placed third, its highest finish since placing second in 2007. Lamar finished with 92 points, placing behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 65 points and UTSA with 79 points.



Sam Walkow led Lamar by placing eighth in 21:55.2 for six kilometers to earn All-Conference honors. LU's Taylor Cloy just missed out on being named All-Conference after finishing 11th in 22:01.1.

Lauren Smith of Stephen F. Austin won the individual race in 20:57.3.

"We're back in the upper echelon of the conference," Clark said of the women's team, which finished seventh last season. "We put ourselves in contention to win today. Now, we have to take that next step and win the championship."

The Lamar cross country teams return to action Nov. 12 at the NCAA South Central Regional in Waco, Texas.


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