BATON ROUGE - The LSU cross country teams will travel to Agri Park Cross Country Park in Fayetteville, Ark., this Friday to compete in the 2012 NCAA South Central Regional Championships.
The teams competed at Agri Park at the Chile Pepper Festival earlier this season as the Lady Tigers finished in fourth place and the Tigers finished in 22nd place during the competititon.
"Being familiar with the course and what it has to offer is an advantage," LSU head coach Mark Elliott said. "It is a fair enough cross country course that some of our runners who aren't really cross country athletes have this course working in their favor."
After finishing seventh overall at the SEC Cross Country Championship meet, the Lady Tigers hope to finish either first or second overall, propelling the team to the NCAA Championship meet.
"As a team we are doing well," said senior women's runner Laura Carleton. "We are trying to keep everyone healthy. I can definitely see us finishing higher than seventh in this meet. Our goal is to at least finish in the top five as a team."
After performing exceptionally this season, being named SEC Women's Runner of the Week and receiving Second Team All-SEC honors, Carleton is also poised to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet as an individual runner.
Joining Carleton in competing in the meet for the Lady Tigers will be seniors Charlene Lipsey, Brea Goodman and Dakota Goodman; juniors Laura Aleman, Leigh-Ann Naccari and Natoya Goule and sophomore Andria Aguilar.
On the men's side, the Tigers hope to improve from their 13th-place finish at the SEC Championship meet in their last appearance on Oct. 26.
"The competition in our region is a little less competitive than the SEC," said senior men's runner Roger Cooke. "A lot of the teams we are racing on Friday we actually beat at the Chile Pepper race. With any young team like we have you have to be optimistic. We are just hoping for the best. It is going to take an effort from the top five to really step it up, including myself."
The women will begin the day by running the 6k championship race starting at 11 a.m. CDT followed by the men's 10k championship race at 12:15 p.m.
Fans can follow the LSU men's and women's cross country teams on Twitter @LSUTrackField and at www.Facebook.com/LSUtrackfield.