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    Saturday Cross Country Roundup

    Mississippi State Cross Country Dominates in Charlotte

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In their largest non-conference meet of the season, the Mississippi State cross country teams showcased unrivaled performances to claim two first-place team finishes at the Charlotte Invitational on Saturday.
    In a field of 30 teams and 206 women, the Lady Bulldogs dominated to earn the Top 2 spots as junior Emma Neigel clocked a 21:24.00 in the 6K Gold Race to finish in first, followed by senior Katie Huston (2nd, 21:27.60). The MSU women also saw leadership from newcomer Lisa Ziegler, who posted a time of 21:47.90 to finish 10th. Juniors Jodie McGuff (21:48.90) and Evie Savage (22:33.80), along with sophomore Madison Milhoan (22:46.80) rounded out the cream of the crop, finishing 11th, 34th and 46th, respectively. 
    Although coach Houston Franks’ women were running without sophomore standout Cornelia Griesche, they did not lack depth.
    “Evie Savage really came through and put us over the top by finishing in the five spot,“ Franks said. “These ladies were racing to win today, and I’m so proud of them. Everyone stepped up.”
    Junior Carmen Brothers also finished second for the Lady Bulldogs in the 6K Green Race, running a 22:35.50.
    With 58 points, the MSU women topped host-team UNC Charlotte, North Florida, Davidson, Florida State, Miami and other strong programs.
    In similar fashion on the men’s side, the Maroon and White squad totaled 48 points to sweep the 8K Gold Race competition. Led by senior John Valentine (3rd, 25:12.20), the Bulldogs landed five in the Top 20 out of 197 athletes. Following Valentine was junior Cameron Vernier (25:19.60) and senior Juan Sanchez (25:32.80), who finished sixth and 10th, respectively. Twins Patrick (15th, 25:38.40) and Andrew Monaghan (19th, 25:41.10) rounded out the Top 20.
    The MSU men also saw action in the 8K Green Race as junior Carson Britton sped past competitors for a first-place finish (26:33.70). Coming in third was sophomore Matt Dunn, who posted a time of 26:41.30.
    “Both teams really gave it their all today,” Franks said. “This was one of our biggest meets of the year, and to come out and grab the top spots is just outstanding. They’ve worked hard in practice the last two weeks, and today that showed.”
    After returning home from the Queen City, the MSU squads will prepare for conference action on Oct. 18 as Alabama hosts the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa.

    Gamecocks Record 20th Place Finish

    FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – In the 28th Annual Roy Griak Invitational, South Carolina finished 20th in the loaded Jack Johnson Women’s Gold 6K field on Les Bolstad Golf Course.
    The trio of junior Meredith Mill (60th, 22:11.55), freshman Mary Reiser (130th, 22:50.10) and sophomore Anna Todd (154th, 23:04.90) led the way for South Carolina. For Mill, one of two Gamecocks running their second Griak, she trimmed her time on the same course by over a minute from her freshman year. Sophomore Christine Kent finished fourth on the squad and 184th overall, posting a 23:18.10 time, her best finish on the team this year, and freshman Martha McCoy continued her run as a point scorer with her 23:25.70 time (197th overall).
    Sophomores Stephanie Berger (232nd, 23:57.65) and Brandy Wybersky (238th, 24:04.95) took sixth and seventh on the team, while senior Penny Boswell (239th, 24:05.75) came in moments ahead of freshman Brittany Day (240th, 24:06.20). Other Gamecock finishers included freshman Sarah Falta (254th, 24:26.25), sophomore Allie Whitley (262nd, 24:40.90) and freshman Melanie Ng (269th, 24:52.05). 
    Arizona, ranked fifth in the last USTFCCCA poll, won the team competition, topping Michigan State. In 20th, the Gamecocks did top the 15th team in the Midwest regional rankings, Iowa, among other teams, and Missouri was the only unranked regional team to finish ahead of South Carolina.
    South Carolina hosts the Gamecock Invitational #2 on Wednesday afternoon at Hilton Field. 

    Bulldogs Battle at Roy Griak Invitational

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. --- Both Georgia cross country teams battled versus some of the nation’s top talent at the 28th-annual Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday afternoon.
    With temperatures hovering in the mid-50s and rain, the Georgia women were 12th posting 381 points on the 6000-meter course while the Bulldogs finished 13th with 307 points on the 8000-meter course at the Les Bolstad Golf Course.
    BYU (62) edged Colorado State (74) for the team win on the men’s side while Arizona scored 48 points to cruise to the women’s title.
    “We had some outstanding individual performances to have a solid team effort,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff.  “It is still early in the year and this was our first competition against high-level competition.  We have not quite put it all together, but I am confident we will put it together by the time the SEC and NCAA Regionals arrive.”
    Junior Carly Hamilton, who opened her season by winning the Furman Cross Country Classic, finished at the front of Georgia’s pack for the eighth consecutive race.  The Springboro, Ohio, native sped to a finish of 21:21.85 to take 19th overall.
    Senior Nicole DiMercurio finished second for Georgia after managing a 75th-place finish with a 22:21.25.  One of her senior teammates, Savannah Kirk, also broke into the top 100 after taking 92nd (22:29.25).
    The next Lady Bulldog to finish was junior Bret McDaniel.  In her third season running for Georgia, McDaniel was 109th in Minneapolis after clocking a 22:38.55.
    Junior Erika Ramsey took 132nd at the meet to be the fifth scorer.  Ramsey ran a 22:51.25 for the Lady Bulldogs.
    The final two Georgia women to finish in the Lady Bulldogs’ top seven were juniors Megan Malasarte and Brooke Koblitz.  Malasarte was 144th (23:00.25) in her second collegiate cross race while Koblitz took 165th (23:10.35).
    “This is a great start for Carly in a race against some of the country’s best runners,” said Cunniff.  “I think Savannah and Erika also had the best 6ks of their careers today which is encouraging.”
    On the men’s side, senior Brandon Lord was Georgia’s top finisher for the second time in 2013.  The Chattanooga, Tenn., native was the first runner from the Southeastern Conference to cross the finish line in 14th with a time of 24:44.2.
    Six spots behind Lord was his senior teammate Luke Baker in 20th place.  Baker, the second SEC runner across the line, recorded a time of 24:49.0 after earning third-place honors at the season-opening Georgia Invitational.
    The Bulldogs’ third senior was also the third Georgia runner to finish.  Charlie Sparks was 57th after completing the course in 25:19.5.
    Georgia’s fourth scorer on the day was junior Zack Sims, who wrapped up the race in 100th place out of the 210 competitors.  Sims recorded a time of 25:46.7 in his second race of the year.
    The fifth and final scorer along with the Bulldogs’ sixth and seventh finishers all completed the course within 16 spots of each other.  Junior Brendan Hoban led the group with a 138th-place finish.  The Duluth native battled for a mark of 26:05.0.
    Georgia’s sixth and seventh finishers were freshman Trevor Grant (150th – 26:10.3) and junior Steven Spevacek (154th – 26:11.8).
    “We are pleased anytime you have two guys in the top 20 at a meet like this,” Cunniff said.  “Brandon and Luke did well and the other senior, Charlie Sparks, was not far behind so I was happy with that front pack’s performance.”
    Georgia returns to action in a pair of spots on Oct. 18 and 19.  A portion of the squads will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Classic while another group of Bulldogs will make the trip to Madison, Wisc., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.  
    Alabama will also be hosting the NCAA South Regionals on Nov. 15.  A majority of the nation’s top-ranked teams are expected to be competing at Wisconsin’s home course.
    Full results and a recap from the Roy Griak Invitational will also be located at

    Kentucky's Macumber Wins OK State Jamboree

    STILLWATER, Okla. – Cally Macumber won her second-consecutive cross country meet to lead the Kentucky women’s team to a second-place finish at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday.
    Macumber has won half of the 10 cross country races she has entered since the start of the 2012 season, a run that includes wins at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championships and Southeast Regional.
    The Kentucky women’s team finished 18 points behind the winners, No. 22 Oklahoma State.
    Allison Peare continued her strong 2013 season with a top-10 time of 18:12.24. Anna Bostrom was 12th with a time of 18:24.00, while Taylor Wendler and Cassidy Hale were UK’s No. 4 and 5 finishers respectively.
    The UK men’s team placed fifth behind four ranked teams including the top two teams in the nation. Matt Hillenbrand led the way for UK with a 13th-place time of 25:04.52, and he was followed by Adam Kahleifeh, who placed 15th with a time of 25:07.04. 
    Zack Beavin was the No. 3 Wildcat finisher with a top-25 time of 25:14.91. James Brown and Jared Phillips rounded out Kentucky’s top-five scoring places with respective times of 26:16.68 and 26:19.52.  
    Kentucky will race in back-to-back weeks for the first time this season next Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic.


    LSU Cross Country Men and Women Finish Second in Stampede

    LAKE CHARLES, La. – While “leading by example” with their performance Saturday at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede, junior Philip Primeaux took fourth overall in the men’s four-mile race and junior Andrea Aguilar earned fifth overall in the women’s 5k race to lead the Tigers and Lady Tigers to a pair of second-place team finishes at the Enos Darbonne Recreation Complex.

    Primeaux crossed the finished line in 20 minutes, 5.69 seconds as the top Tiger in the men’s race, while leading LSU’s “A” team to a runner-up finish with 71 points. McNeese State’s “A” team won the men’s crown with 17 points for the meet.

    Aguilar clocked 22:15.69 to lead the way for the Lady Tigers in the race as their “A” squad also earned a second-place team finish with 62 points on the women’s side. The Lady Tigers finished just behind the 43 points scored by Tulane’s “A” team for the women’s crown.

    Cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson talked about the leadership styles of his top runner on both sides Saturday as the teams enjoyed their best performance of the 2013 season.

    “I think they are both really focused on leading by example, so they are focusing on running the best that they can run,” Robinson said. “I think from that, they will start to gain confidence in themselves and start to push other people to do the same.

    “For this race, I just wanted them to compete and I think they did that. I think Andy [Aguilar] stuck her neck out. She might have went out a little too quick, but that’s fine. Same thing with [Philip] Primeaux. I think he could’ve won the race. At the end of the day, we’re trying to get better overall.”

    Alex Kiptoo from McNeese State (19:39.38) finished first in the men’s race, while Tessni Carruthers from Nicholls State (17:51.55) finished first in the women’s.

    The men’s “A” squad finished second and the men’s “B” squad eighth out of 10 teams. The field was composed of 13 total teams.

    Along with Primeaux, juniors William Wiesler (20:41.17) and Bryan Mutell (20:51.48), sophomore Travis Pope (21:04.2) and freshman Joseph St. Cyr (21:09.58) rounded out the men’s “A” squad. The members of the “A” squad all finished in the Top 25 overall at fourth, 12th, 16th, 21st and 23rd, respectively.

    The men’s “B” squad consisted of sophomore Aaron Koenck (21:44.84), junior Philip Dempsey (22:03.17), freshman Buck Baker (22:59.19), redshirt-freshman Kevin Kirchner (23:11.6) and freshman Blair Henderson (25:27.92).

    The women’s “A” squad placed second and the “B” squad sixth out of 10 total teams. LSU was the only team with a “B” squad to place in the competition.

    Following Aguilar on the women’s “A” squad was redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews (19:25.86), sophomore Morgan Scheutz (19:27.06), and freshmen Jenna Walker (19:40.36) and Ashley Welborn (19:49.53). The members of the women’s “A” squad finished in the Top 20 overall at fifth, 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th, respectively.

    Redshirt-freshman Meghan Charbonnet (19:50.44), who also finished in the Top 20 at 19th overall, led the women’s “B” squad. Joining Charbonnet on the “B” squad was junior Michelle Mobley (20:43.87), freshman Danielle Avery (20:46.27), redshirt freshman Elizabeth Dunning (21:03.27) and freshman Katie Stevenson (21:27.32)

    Aguilar, Koenck, Mobley, Mutell, Pope, Primeaux, Schuetz and Wiesler, who competed in the race last year, all improved their times in the Stampede.

    “I think they’re at a stage in which they’re learning what they can do, get confidence in themselves, and that’s the main thing,” Robinson said.

    The Tigers and Lady Tigers return to action when they 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.