Oct. 18, 2013
BEAUMONT – After an impressive showing in Indiana two weeks ago at the Notre Dame Invitational, the Lamar men’s and women’s cross country teams will aim high once more in the Hoosier State as the Cardinals will compete at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute.
“Pre-Nationals gives us a chance to go up to Terre Haute and run on the national championship course,” head coach Darren Gauson said. “It’s a good experience, and there are some good teams lined up for it. There are 8-10 nationally-ranked teams on both the men’s and women’s side. There’s over 50 teams competing in both races, and it will be one of the biggest fields that I’ve ever seen.”
The LU women stole the show earlier this month at Notre Dame, finishing ninth in a similarly loaded field with British import Leigh Lattimore taking home a fifth place finish on the way to earning the Southland Conference’s Athlete of the Week award. The Lady Cards, which will feature a team comprised entirely of newcomers, will look for her to lead the team once again this week.
“The Notre Dame meet prepared us really well for this weekend,” Gauson explained. “We did really well against national competition, especially on the women’s side, beating nationally-ranked Duke as well as some Big Ten and other power conference schools. I think most of our team feels a little bit more comfortable with this weekend after going up there.”
Joining Lattimore will be Louise Webb and Rachel Robinson, who clocked in at 26th and 58th, respectively, at Notre Dame. Belinda Aguilar, Claire Arnold, Kayla de Bondt and Megan Flanagan will round out the squad for LU.
On the men’s side, the Cards are aiming to improve from their 13th
place finish at Notre Dame, and expected to lead the charge will be 2012 All-American Matt Johnsen
, Ash Harrell
and Ryan Saunders
. The trio made up the top LU finishers, but veterans Ryan Creech
and Sam Stabler
as well as Sean Guiney
and Mike Kershaw are hoping to put in strong performances.
The Pre-National Invitational will begin with the 8,000-meter men’s Blue Race at 10 a.m., and the women will take part in the 6,000-meter Blue Race at 10:40. Further coverage is available via FloTrack.org.