BATON ROUGE - After placing fifth overall in the first cross country meet of the 2012 season, LSU senior Laura Carleton is prepared to continue leading the LSU cross country teams into their lone home meet of the season this Saturday with the LSU Invitational at Highland Road Park.
The women will kick off the meet at 8:05 a.m. CDT covering 6,000 meters, followed by the men running 8,000 meters at 9:15 a.m.
Both the Tigers and Lady Tigers posted solid performances in last weekend's Commodore Classic held in Nashville, Tenn. The women finished in ninth place overall, while the men finish in 19th place in their season opener.
"When you know your course and run the hills a few times a week at practice it does give you a little bit of an advantage," Carleton said of the LSU Invitational. "It is just fun to stay here for the weekend and have your family out to support you."
Senior Roger Cooke led the Tigers by posting a time of 26 minutes, 15.64 seconds in last weekend's 8k race. Although the team had a solid performance, expectations for the team in this weekend's race are much higher.
"When dealing with the men, I hope to see the biggest improvement from week one to week two," said LSU head coach Mark Elliott.
Despite hosting a meet on their home course, the LSU cross country teams and coaches understand that in cross country, advantages are hard to come by.
"The only advantage we have is knowing the course," said Elliott. "We have trained on it and know what to look for, but we still have to compete pretty well."
Jackson State, Lamar, Loyola-New Orleans, Mississippi College, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana and Southern University will all compete with LSU this weekend at Highland Road Park.
After playing host to the LSU Invitational on Saturday morning, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will travel to Lake Charles, La., on Sept. 29 to compete at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede being held at Enos Darbonne Recreation Complex.