Nov. 9, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
The Lamar University men's and women's cross country teams will be back in action this Saturday, running at the 2007 NCAA South Central Regional Championships, at Agri Park in Fayetteville, Ark. The men's 10K race is set to go off at 10 a.m. with the women's 6K race schedule to begin at 11:15.
The Lamar men enter the Regional meet on the heels of their second straight Southland Conference championship, while the women finished in second place. The Cardinal men are ranked fourth in the South Central Region behind the University of Arkansas, the University of Texas and Texas A&M. The Lady Cardinals, who finished in fourth place in 2005 and 2006, come in as the number seven team in the region.
The top two teams and four individuals from each of the nine regional championships automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. On Sunday, 13 at-large teams will be added to the national championship field by the NCAA Division I Track and Field Committee. Two additional at-large individuals will round out the field of 255.
The women are led by two time Southland Conference champion and two-time conference cross country athlete of the year in senior Clerc Koenck. Junior Renee Graham and freshman Rachel Kingsford bolster the top of the Lady Cardinal roster. The pair finished in second and 10th place at the Southland Conference meet.
Graham was the top finisher for Lamar at the 2005 and 2006 South Central Regional meets, finishing in third place a year ago and in 15th place in 2005. She was the only member of the Lamar women's cross country team to advance to the NCAA Championship meet both of those seasons.
The Lady Cardinals line up is completed by junior Stacey Monteau, sophomore Karesse Letherman and freshman Mercy Bungei. Monteau placed 17th at the SLC meet, Lethermon came in 23rd and Bungei placed 35th.
On the men's side the Cardinals are led by sophomore Francis Kasagule
, who placed second at the SLC meet, and has been one of the top runners in the region all season long. He is joined at the top of the Lamar pack by junior Samuel Kosgei
who finished fourth at the SLC meet. Last season Kosgei grabbed a fourth place finish at the regional meet, with Kasagule close behind in fifth place. Both runners advanced to the NCAA Championships, where Kasagule earned All American honors.
The Cardinals follow their top two with another pair of solid runners in Frank Bwambale and Danny Shaw. Bwambale, a junior, finished in seventh place at the SLC championship in a time while Shaw, a senior, finished his SLC career with a third straight all-conference performance by coming in 10th place.
Freshman Drew Bean, who placed 14th at the SLC championship, rounds out the top five for Lamar, while sophomore Randy Becker, who came in 16th place two weeks ago, is close behind. Junior Ewan Simpson, who came in 28th place at the conference meet, rounds out the Lamar lineup for the regional meet.
For results of the South Central Regional Championships, click on the following link: