Ladyjacks Third, Lumberjacks Fourth At SLC Championships
Oct. 27, 2007
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin cross country teams each finished in the top four Saturday at the Southland Conference Championships, with the Ladyjacks taking third place and the Lumberjacks notching a fourth-place finish. The SFA women, led by senior Katrina Nicholas' second career All-Southland Conference performance scored 98 points to finish behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Lamar, while the men's team held a tight pattern with all five runners finishing between 18th and 29th place to elbow their way into the fourth slot with 116 points.
Nicholas, a fifth-year senior from Natchitoches, La., completed the 6,000-meter course in 21:45 to finish seventh. That marks her second All-SLC finish in cross country. She was also an all-conference in 2005 as a part of the most recent Ladyjack team championship effort.
"This is a great way for Katrina to finish things out, in terms of conference cross country," SFA cross country coach Lou Snelling said. "This is her second All-SLC in cross and her fourth all-conference total, including track. Things were kind of clumped up in a big pack early in the race. A couple of girls from Lamar made a move in the middle, and Katrina tried to cover it. She rolled the dice and came through, and you've got to respect that. Finishing seventh overall is a great way to end your SLC career."
Redshirt freshman Amy Shackelford was the second SFA woman to cross the line, posting a time of 22:12 for a 14th-place finish. True freshman Meredith Blocker finished 23rd with a time of 22:27, redshirt freshman Megan Jenkins took 27th with a time of 22:40, and sophomore Chelsea Bradford rounded out the SFA scoring runners with a 30th-place time of 22:58.
"The big thing with our top five today is that there were three freshmen and a sophomore up there for us," Snelling said. "That's just really exciting to see, and it's exciting to think about where these girls can go over the next several years."
Senior Kirsten Wieseman finished right behind Bradford in 31st place with a time of 23:04. Freshman Marie Flores was 34th with a time of 23:14, and sophomore Heather Adams took 43rd, clocking in at 23:31.
On the men's side, it was true freshman Dennis Yeats leading the way. The rookie from Terrell, Texas, was 18th, posting a time of 25:55.
"It's big to see a true freshman come in and be our number one guy at conference," Snelling said. "He was one of the top freshmen in the league, and I'm really happy with his performance. He was really controlled early and ran a smart race the whole way through."
A trio of juniors followed Yeats closely, starting with Gerardo Moreno two slots behind in 20th with a time of 26:00. Aaron Hohn crossed the line 24th, clocking in at 26:19, and Cole Hollingsworth put up a time of 26:29 to finish 26th. Redshirt freshman Elliot Starcevich ran his best time of the season -- 26:45 -- to take 29th and help the Lumberjacks finish in their tightest grouping of the year.
"The surprising thing on the guys' side was the race, as a whole, went out very quickly, instead of just having that first lead pack out in front," Snelling said. "The entire race rolled fast. We had a couple of guys who went after it and really rolled. Gerardo went after early and kind of paid for it late, but he ran a good race."
The Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks will next run on Nov. 10 at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
"With both teams being so young, regionals is going to be a great experience for them," Snelling said. "It's a nice learning experience we can use for the next several years, as the teams continue to improve."
-- SFA --