BATON ROUGE – After 12th and 14th-place overall finishes at SEC Championships and a week away from competition, the LSU men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to compete in the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas, on Friday at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
The men will commence the action, racing the 10k course at 10 a.m. CDT proceeding with the women’s 6k, which is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m.
The men return three runners that competed in the South Central Regional last year including juniors Philip Primeaux and William Wiesler and sophomore Travis Pope. The trio finished in 82nd, 113th and 108th place, respectively, in last year’s race in Fayetteville, Ark.
Bryan Mutell competed in the 2011 South Central Regional in Waco and finished 98th. Juniors Philip Dempsey and sophomore Aaron Koenck will round out the men’s squad, making their debuts in the South Central Regional.
In the 2011 Regional, former Tiger Cullen Doody (46th) finished in 32 minutes, 38.6 seconds and Richard Chautin (52nd) finished in 34 minutes, 49 seconds, closing their careers as the top two finishers for the Tigers.
The men’s squad placed 18th at last year’s regional with 492 points, falling five spots from the 13th-place finish they posted in Waco in 2011. Texas took home the men’s title last year with 38 points.
Junior Andria Aguilar clocked 26:05.2 in the 2011 NCAA South Central Regional, finishing 146th in the race. Aguilar returns as the only Lady Tiger with South Central Regional experience.
Aguilar will be joined by junior Michelle Mobley; sophomore Morgan Schuetz; redshirt freshmen Meghan Charbonnet, Elizabeth Dunning and Chaiss Matthews and freshmen Danielle Avery, Jenna Walker and Ashley Welborn.
The women’s squad looks to build on last year’s South Central Regional effort, finishing 8th with 230 points. Arkansas claimed the women’s title on their home course with 44 points.
The field will be composed of 39 collegiate teams, most notably USTFCCCA nationally-ranked No. 9 Arkansas and No. 25 Texas on the men’s side and No. 3 Arkansas and No. 28 Texas A&M on the women’s.
“I will be looking for everyone to run a personal best again,” cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson said. “Our goal is to continue to get better at every competition. I feel that the season has been going pretty well. My focus has been for us to become more competitive and for us to start coming together as a team.”
There will be a total of 31 bids for NCAA Championships. The top two teams from each of the nine regions will automatically receive bids and 13 at-large bids will be determined by regional finish and regular-season competition. There will be a total of 38 additional individuals per gender that will be selected to run in the NCAA Championships. The top four finishers who are not on a qualifying team will receive an invitation to the NCAA Championships.
These finishers must finish within the top 25 of the regional to receive bids. The qualifiers will head north to Terre Haute, Ind., to compete in the NCAA Championships, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23. The men’s race is set to begin at 11 a.m. CDT with the women’s race immediately following at 12:15 p.m.