May 10, 2013
LAKE CHARLES – Both Matt Johnsen and Claire Miles laid claim to a part of the medal stand on Friday morning as each finished third in the 10,000 meter run at the Southland Outdoor Championships at Cameron Communications Track and Field Complex on the campus of McNeese State.
“I feel that both the men and the women are off to a good start this weekend,” head coach Trey Clark said. “The group today put some points up for us early, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again later in the meet. It was good to see Matt continue his comeback from injury and exciting to see him on the right track. Claire was solid as well and she was never challenged for her all-conference spot.”
Miles was the lone Lady Cardinal in the women’s race, posting a time of 37:51.82, nearly a full minute ahead of fourth place. Brooke Cassar won the event for Central Arkansas at 35:12.47, and defending champion Lauren Smith finished second at 36:43.52.
Miles’ time moved her to fifth on LU’s all-time performance list for the event.
Johnsen, who posted a time of 30:20.62, fell victim to the McNeese State duo of David Rooney and Jarrett LeBlanc. Rooney took home the event title for a second straight season, putting up a time of 29:50.83, which ranks as the best in the history of the Southland meet. LeBlanc finished in 30:15.40.
Ryan Creech grabbed fourth place honors, ending in 30:44.15, and each of the event’s top four times were better than Rooney’s winning time of 30:51.78 last season.
“This was one of the faster 10K races that I’ve seen at conference championships,” Clark said. “It was definitely a quality performance by the field, and it’s nice that we were a part of that. You never know what it takes to win a championship in a given year, and this was just a very, very good performance by everyone. It was also another big step for Creech. He works hard and he’s persevered over the past year or so, and I’m looking for big things from him as time goes on.”
and Ryan Kelly also participated in the race, with the former finishing in 31:44.74 to end 11th
and the latter coming in 18th
The 10,000 meter runners were the only LU athletes scheduled to compete on Friday, and the full team will return to McNeese on Saturday, beginning with the jumps group at 1 p.m.