Nov. 14, 2009
WACO, Texas -- Francis Kasagule finished third at the NCAA South Central Region Cross Country meet on Saturday to assure himself of an invitation to the NCAA Championships, but must wait one more day to find out if his teammates will join him.
Lamar finished third with a team score of 83 points, nine back of Texas' 74. Arkansas claimed the team title at 47 points. The top two teams in each of the nine regions automatically qualify for the NCAA meet, held Monday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Cardinals were place-for-place with Texas through the first four finishers, but the difference came down to the fifth position as UT's runner was 27th and Lamar's 38th. Lamar must sit and see if it is awarded one of the 13 at-large selections that will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday.
Kasagule completed the 10-kilometer course at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in a time of 30:28.4, mere seconds behind a pair of Arkansas runners - Dorian Utrey in 30:24 and Solomon Haile in 30:25.
The senior will be making his fourth appearance in Terre Haute after recorded all-America honors as a freshman and sophomore.
Lamar's next three finishers - freshman Bob Ahimbisibwe, junior Joonas Harjamaki and junior Drew Bean - claimed the 13th through 15th spots with senior Hillary Samoei as the fifth scorer with 38 points.
Kasagule, Ahimbisibwe, Harjamaki and Bean were all named to the USATFCCCA All-Region team after landing in the top-25. Kasagule is also one of the five finalists for the region's Male Athlete of the Year.
Freshmen Maarten Van Dyck and Alex De La Garza crossed the line in 68th and 80th, respectively to complete the LU racers.
In the women's race, Lamar finished 14th with 392 points.
Freshman Sam Walkow completed a very solid first year with a 33rd place showing in 22:21.8 over the 6-kilometer tract. Classmate Karin Svensson was 65th in 23:18 while sophomore Emily Carpenter was four seconds back for 71 points. Freshman Nora-Beth Saunders added 105 points to the team total and second=year runner Daisy Cantu scored 118.