Junior Dajour Braxton
Rachel Street

XC Teams to Compete in Crimson Classic

Jared Laque
Jared Laque
Communications Student Assistant

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – After a near three-week break, the Tigers and Lady Tigers are set to return to action Friday morning, at the annual Crimson Classic, held at Harry Pricthett RC. The men will start first at 9 a.m. CT in the 8,000-meter race, followed by the women’s 6,000-meter race at 9:45 a.m. CT. 

The Crimson Classic will feature numerous conference foes such as host Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina’s women, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt’s men.

Head Coach Mark Rinker believes the off-time both teams had will have beneficial effects heading into Tuscaloosa. 

“This weekend will be a lot of fun,” Rinker said. “The student-athletes are excited to get out and race. Having a couple of weeks off of racing really allowed us to get some great training in. We have been able to put in some really hard training over the last couple of weeks, and I am happy with what the athletes were able to accomplish.”

In LSU’s last outing, at the Texas A&M Invitational, the women’s and men’s team had team finishes of sixth and ninth respectively. The Lady Tigers were led by junior Ersula Farrow, who will try to pursue a Top 15 finish for the fifth-consecutive race. Farrow finished in 13th place in College Station.

Juniors Erika Lewis and Hannah Bourque along with freshman Alicia Stamey aided the Lady Tigers’ efforts, whom all recorded Top 35 finishes. 

The junior combination of Farrow and Lewis have been the top-two finishers for the Lady Tigers in every race this season, but Rinker has noticed some of the progress the underclassmen have made recently. 

“On the women’s side, Ersula and Erika have continued to push forward and lead the women’s team,” Rinker mentioned. “I expect that to continue, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few of the younger women close the gap.”

The men’s team was paced by freshman Eric Coston as the newcomer placed eighth, his second Top 10 finish of the season. Sophomore Harrison Martingayle and junior Dajour Braxton followed Coston in 22nd and 47th place respectively. 

While the Tigers have primarily been led by Braxton, Coston or Martingayle, Rinker believes a couple seniors are primed for a breakout race.

“For the men, Eric and Harrison are really getting fit,” Rinker noted. “DC Lipani and Daniel Tanner continue to run better everyday so I’m excited to see them race as well.”

With this weekend marking the final race prior to the conference championships, Rinker and both teams are aware of the challenges that lie ahead. The teams will not only be exposed to the in-conference competition, but they will also develop more familiarity with the longer courses distance-wise. 

“Getting back to racing this weekend is key to our goals in the postseason,” Rinker said. “It will be a great chance to shake of some of the rust as we are ultimately preparing for the SEC Championships, followed by the Regional Championships.”

Following the Crimson Classic, both teams will have two weeks off before traveling to Athens, Georgia for the SEC Championships on Friday, October 27.

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. 

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