The SFA men and women’s cross- country teams will be competing at the NCAA South Central Regional meet on Friday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after the women finished second, and the men finished fifth at the Southland Conference Championship.
At the SLC Championship, the Ladyjacks ran a 6K and had a score of 70 points, finishing behind the University of Central Arkansas who had a score of 64. Junior Kelsey Ramirez placed second individually with a time of 20:51.5. The first-place finisher was sophomore Arina Kleshchukova from the University of New Orleans who finished with the time of 20:50.5. UNO finished the race 11th with a score of 274.
Following Ramirez for the SFA runners was freshman Meredith Clayton with a time of 21:59.5 who won the freshman of the year award. Senior Madison Compass finished 15th with a time of 22:06.7, freshman Isabel Borrego finished 20th with a time of 22:14.1, and senior Claire Crone finished 22nd with a time of 22:18.6.
“Our fifth-place finish was pretty darn good,” cross-country head coach Cody Clark said. “When you start getting under 30 seconds, it’s a really good day. Everybody in our top seven had a personal record. We had people PR by 10 seconds.”
The Lumberjacks ran an 8K race with a score of 130. The standings for the men’s race were Lamar at first with 34 points, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi second with 120 points, Abilene Christian University third with 126 points and McNeese fourth with 128 points.
Junior Yoel Yoel with a time of 24:53.6 placed 18th individually followed by SFA’s sophomore Titus Kiplagas who placed 19th with a time of 24:54.5. Runners who also scored points were freshman Michael Urbina placing 23rd with a time of 25:00.5, freshman Parker Jones placing 26 and sophomore Maxwell Murphy with a time of 25:42.1.
“It will be an opportunity for our group to be individually [in the] top 25, which is [an] All-Region honor,” Clark said. “Kelsey Ramirez is in the conversation for an individual qualification for nationals.”
Runners and teams who place for the NCAA National Championships will compete on Nov. 23 in Terra Haute, Indiana.