Women Earn Second, Men Third in LSU Invitational
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU women’s cross country team exerted a strong effort, earning second place in the 2017 LSU Invitational with 53 points. Junior Ersula Farrow led the charge by placing third individually, her second Top Three finish of the season.
Farrow recorded a time of 18 minutes, 5.35 seconds in the 5k. Fellow juniors Erika Lewis and Hannah Bourque also aided the Lady Tigers’ efforts with Top 10 finishes of their own. Lewis finished in seventh place with a time of 18:33.00, and Bourque followed in eighth place recording a time of 18:45.21.
Lewis believes the comradery of the women’s team helps to push one another.
“This year, we’ve been running really well as a team,” Lewis mentioned. “I think we’re able to get in stride with each other really well, and it’s really pushed us to the next level. In our workouts we’re pushing to beat each other which will really help for future races.”
The men’s team placed third, recording 62 points in the 6k race. Junior Dajour Braxton and sophomore Harrison Martingayle paced the Tigers and were awarded seventh and ninth-place respectively. Braxton and Martingayle notched respective times of 17:34.00 and 17:35.50. This marks the second-straight LSU Invitational that Braxton and Martingayle led the men’s team with Top 10 finishes.
Braxton believes the atmosphere of the home meet provided an encouraging support system for both teams.
“It was huge,” Braxton noted. “I’ve never been to a home meet where we had so many fans cheering us on every single turn. It’s a great feeling to have all of these fans out.”
Martingayle credited his Top 10 finish to the increase in practice intensity from Head Coach Mark Rinker.
“I love it,” Martingayle said. “Having a new training plan has helped to make things a little more consistent. The mileage has been a little higher, but I think that everyone has benefitted from that. I think his training program has been nothing but positive, and I think the culture he has brought to LSU has really boosted our team morale. Everybody believes and has bought in this year, and I think that’s the biggest thing you can ask for.”
Freshman Eric Coston along with seniors Daniel Tanner and Jack Wilkes all earned Top 20 finishes for the Tigers. Coston finished in 13th place with a time of 17:55.50. Tanner and Wilkes finished in 15th and 20th places with respective times of 18:05.30 and 18:17.00.
Senior DC Lipani was the sixth Tiger to finish. He crossed in 22nd place recording a time of 18:36.70. Sophomores Alex Harp and Josef Schuster finished with times of 19:15.00 and 19:33.20, earning 34th and 37th place respectively. Senior Bryan Stamey finished in 39th place to close out the Tigers’ efforts as he placed 39th.
Outside of Farrow, Lewis and Bourque for the Lady Tigers, Freshmen Kristin Delgado and Alicia Stamey as well as senior Monica Guillot all finished in the Top 25 on the women’s side. Delgado finished in 16th place recording a time of 19:13.40. Guillot and Stamey finished almost simultaneously earning respective places of 22nd and 23rd. Guillot notched a time of 19:48.51, and Stamey came in at 19:49.29.
Isabella Hemb and senior Rebecca Little followed for the Lady Tigers in 26th and 30th place. Hemb and Little finished with respective times of 19:58.65 and 20:13.88.
Amber Desselle and sophomore Amelie Whitehurst closely followed Little, respectively placing in 32nd and 34th place. Desselle recorded a time of 20:29.07, and Whitehurst finished in 21:00.10.
Sophomore Kailyn McCarley, Cori Mitchell and freshman Courtney Tapocik rounded out the Lady Tigers Saturday morning finishing in 41st, 45th and 64th place respectively. McCarley crossed the finish line in 21:18.06. Mitchell and Tapocik recorded respective times of 21:33.25 and 24:59.64.
In hosting his first meet for LSU, Rinker was pleased with both teams’ outcomes.
“I thought it went well,” Rinker said. “We’re probably in the hardest block of training that we’ll be in all year, so we wanted to treat this as somewhat of a workout. We planned to start hard. Then, kind of ease up in the middle, and really make a charge in the last 1000 meters. We were looking at how we’re going to race the SEC meet at the end of the year. We tried to focus on being aggressive early while also really trying to finish well, and I thought both the men and women did a really good job of doing that.”
Next weekend, both teams will return to action next weekend in College Station, Texas to compete in the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday, September 23. The meet will be held at the Watts XC Course with the men scheduled to start at 8:15 a.m. CT with the women following at 9:00 a.m. CT.
For the latest information on LSU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams, fans can follow the Tigers and Lady Tigers on Twitter @LSUTrackField and on Facebook by liking LSU Track & Field.