LSU’s cross country season will begin Friday with the 2021 LSU Invitational at the University Club. The men’s squad will start the morning off by running the 6k at 8:30 a.m. while the women will follow up by running the 5k at 9:15.
The meet will be cross country’s first meet this fall following the cancellation of the Sept. 3 meet at the University of New Orleans due to the impact of Hurricane Ida. The Tigers will be competing against Alcorn State, Dillard, Loyola-New Orleans, New Orleans, UL-Lafayette, William Carey, Southern and Southeastern Louisiana.
The Tigers return of their entire team that finished fifth place at last year’s SEC championships, their best showing in 21 years. This squad, highlighted by senior Katy-Ann McDonald, will look to continue that improvement. She earned second-team All-SEC and All-Louisiana Runner of the Year honors last season.
Shelby Spoor, Alicia Stamey, and Ashley LaJocies, all three SEC scorers for LSU a year ago, will compete as well while the Tigers will also witness the debuts of Sophie Martin, Callie Hardy, Carly Nicholson, and Hailey Day. Lorena Rangel and Doria Martingayle, who both have competed for LSU in track and field, will make their LSU cross country debuts. Other runners in action will be Adele Broussard, Annie Fink, Gwyneth Hughes, and Shanya Luna.
This season, the Tigers will look to improve on finishing eighth for two straight years in SEC championships. LSU should benefit from seeing the return of junior David Bove and senior Eric Coston, its top runners from last season.
Bove earned a spot on the All-Louisiana first team a year ago when he was LSU’s top finisher (17th place) at the SEC championships. Coston, who granted another year of eligibility, was the Tigers’ second-highest finisher at each of his meets last year including 34th at the SEC championships.
Bove and Coston are joined by sophomores Will Dart and Ethan Selph, juniors Jackson Martingayle, Cade Martin, Adam Wise and senior Garrett Hamilton.
LSU has added newcomers Dyllon Nimmers, Evan Pardo and Jack Wallace. Nimmers, a Louisiana Class 5A state champion, received the honor of Gatorade Runner of the Year for cross country a season ago. Pardo and Wallace are both state runners-up.
Fan parking will be available at L’Auberge Casino (777 L’Auberge Avenue). There will be free shuttles running back and forth from parking to the course.