Nov. 10, 2006
WACO, Texas - The Lamar University men's and women's cross country teams will be back on the run this Saturday when they take part in the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco, Texas. The meet will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the women's 6,000-meter race and will conclude with the men's 10,000-meter race at 11:15 a.m.
Lamar enters the Regional meet on the heels of Southland Conference championships by both the men and the women. The Cardinal men are ranked third in the South Central Region behind the University of Arkansas and the University of Texas, and they are receiving votes in the national poll. The Lady Cardinals, who finished in fourth place in 2005, come in as the number four team in the region, behind Arkansas, Baylor and Texas A&M.
"The women enter the meet ranked fourth in the region and our men are third," head coach Trey Clark said. "Our main goal is to maintain and perform up to our ranking and possibly improve on it. It will take a great performance to improve on our rankings, but these men and women have done a great job of living up to and exceeding expectations all year long."
The women are led by SLC champion and conference cross country athlete of the year in junior Clerc Koenck, who posted a time of 21:35 on the 6,000-meter course in Nacogdoches. Sophomore Renee Graham and senior Amanda King bolster the top of the Lady Cardinal roster. The pair finished in second and fourth place at the Southland Conference meet, posting times of 21:41 and 22:03 respectively.
Graham was the top finisher for Lamar at the 2005 South Central Regional, finishing in 15th place in a time of 21:52. She was the only member of the Lamar cross country team to advance to the NCAA Championship meet a year ago.
The Lady Cardinals line up is completed by freshman Karesse Lethermon who placed 13th at the SLC championship in a time of 23:25, sophomore Stacey Monteau, who came in 26th place with a 23:59 clocking and Mary Johnson, who placed 35th in a time of 24:18.
On the men's side, the Cardinals are led by Southland Conference newcomer of the year Samuel Kosgei, who finished runner up at the Southland Conference meet, running the 8,000 meter course in a time of 24:24. Kosgei has run well all season, posting a first place finish at NSU and a fourth place finish at the Chile Pepper Festival. Kosgei has garnered SLC runner of the week honors twice this season, first after his run at the Griak and again after his performance at the Chile Pepper.
Southland Conference freshman of the year Francis Kasagule, who finished in third place in a time of 24:30, at the SLC championship, gives Lamar a powerful one-two punch at the top of their line up.
The Cardinals follow their top two with another pair of solid runners in Frank Bwambale and Danny Shaw. Bwambale, a sophomore, finished in fourth place at the SLC championship in a time of 25:21 while Shaw, a junior, finished in sixth place in a time of 25:23.
Rounding out the men's roster is a freshman Aaron Brannen who came in 21st with a clocking of 26:35, freshman Randy Becker who came in 41st with a time of 27:55 and sophomore Ewan Simpson who came in 42nd with a time of 28:02.
Results will be posted on BaylorBears.com as soon as they are available. The top two teams in each race qualify automatically for the 2006 NCAA Championships to be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 20.