BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s and women’s cross country teams continue their 2013 season Saturday when they compete in Lake Charles at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede at the Enos Darbonne Recreation Complex.
The meet will begin with the women racing the 5k course at 8:45 a.m. CDT proceeding with the men’s four mile shortly after at 9:15 a.m.
The women have found their stride in this meet, placing the top three overall finishers last year and winning the women’s team title. Former runners Laura Carelton (17:51.0), Dakota Goodman (18:17.0) and Natoya Goule (18:20.0) finished first, second and third, respectively.
The men have also experienced a measure of success in this meet, placing three top-15 finishers at last year’s contest. Former Tiger Roger Cooke (21:20.0) and juniors Bryan Mutell (21:49.0) and Philip Primeaux (21:20.0) finished third, 10th and 12th, respectively.
Both the Tigers and Lady Tigers notched a solid season debut in 2013 at the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. on Sept. 14, while earning eighth and 10th place finishes, before having their own LSU Invitational canceled due to severe weather last Saturday.
Cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson understands the impact of not being able to compete in a race this past weekend.
“We have only had one competition,” Robinson explained. “Going into the next competition, most teams are going to be at four. We can’t control the weather, so we will have to keep moving forward.”
With the weather changing constantly in South Louisiana, Robinson expects his team to have the ability to endure and adapt quickly.
“We have to be able to perform in adverse weather conditions. We are just going to keep plugging away, no matter how the weather is, as long as we’re able to do it safely,” Robinson said.
Despite their home meet being canceled this past Saturday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers had eight runners best their previous personal records in the only competition of the season. Along with Primeaux (25:41.64) and Mutell (27:18.44), junior Philip Dempsey (27:10.84), sophomores Aaron Koenck (27:31.99) and Travis Pope (26:26.83), and junior William Wiesler (26:17.57) all achieved this feat in the men’s 8k, while junior Michelle Mobley (25:23.26) and sophomore Morgan Schuetz (23:53.81) also conquered their previous bests in the women’s 6k.
Along with the Tigers that broke personal records last week, redshirt freshman Kevin Kirchner and freshmen Buck Baker, Blair Henderson and Joseph St. Cyr are also scheduled to compete. Henderson is making his collegiate debut for the Tigers this weekend.
Looking to defend last year’s team title, the Lady Tigers will return juniors Andria Aguilar (19:41.0), Schuetz (21:13.8), and Mobley (22:33.0), who finished 11th, 26th, and 30th, respectively, at the Stampede last year. Rounding out the Lady Tigers in the Stampede are redshirt freshmen Elizabeth Dunning and Chaiss Matthews and freshmen Danielle Avery, Meghan Charbonnet, Katie Stevenson, Jenna Walker and Ashley Welborn.
Along with host school McNeese State, The Tigers will be competing against nine other regional schools in the meet, including Central Arkansas, Louisiana Tech (men), Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Southern (New Orleans), Tulane and University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Following the McNeese Stampede on Saturday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will head north to Fayetteville, Ark., where they will compete in the Chile Pepper Festival on Oct. 05. The meet will be held on the Razorback Cross Country course at Agri Park.