BATON ROUGE – After ninth and 11th-place overall finishes at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark., the LSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will have their final showdown before Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday when they compete in the Crimson Classic at the Harry Pritchett Running Park.
The women will begin the action at 5 p.m. CDT, racing the 5k course with the men’s 8k proceeding at 5:30 p.m.
The last time the Tigers and Lady Tigers have competed in the Crimson Classic was 2009.
The Lady Tigers will be spearheaded by junior Andria Aguilar, who has finished as the top Lady Tiger in every meet LSU has competed in thus far. Aguilar found her stride at the McNeese Stampede earlier this season, clocking a 5k personal-record time of 18:25.6, which notched her a fifth-place finish in the competition.
Following Aguilar, sophomore Morgan Schuetz and redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews have shown to be significant contributors, capturing the next best 5k times at 19:27.1 and 19:25.9, respectively. Along with junior Michelle Mobley, redshirt freshmen Meghan Charbonnet, Elizabeth Dunning and Katie Stevenson; and freshmen Danielle Avery, Jenna Walker and Ashley Welborn round out the women’s pack.
The men’s squad will be led by juniors Philip Primeaux (25:41.6) and William Wiesler (26:17.6) and freshman Joseph St. Cyr (27:10.2), who own the team’s top three times in 8k competition this year. Juniors Philip Dempsey and Bryan Mutell, sophomores Aaron Koenck and Travis Pope, redshirt freshman Kevin Kirchner and freshman Buck Baker will also compete for the men’s squad.
The Crimson Classic will be composed of 30 collegiate squads, most notably two of the top 25 nationally-ranked women’s teams in the USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll, No. 2 Florida State and No. 25 Vanderbilt. Other notables include SEC opponents such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee (women).
Cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson realizes the value in finding a groove within his squads heading into SEC Championships.
“It is important to go into the SEC Championship with some momentum,” Robinson said. “This competition is the last competition before conference and it will have many teams from the SEC participating. Thus far, we have had some good results and personal records, yet we need to continue to sow good seeds in order to develop into the type of team we will become. The key is putting in the work, belief, and consistency.”
Following the Crimson Classic, the cross country squads will have two weeks before traveling back to Gainesville, Fla., on Friday, Nov. 1 for SEC Championships, where they will compete at Mark Bostic Golf Course for the second time this season. The men’s 8k will commence at 8 a.m. CDT followed by the women’s 6k at 9 a.m.
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