The LSU women’s cross country team, led by Lorena Rangel and Michaela Rose, posted a program-best third place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Meet Friday morning at the Watts Cross Country Course in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Rangel covered the 6K course in 21 minutes, 4.5 seconds and finish 20th overall. Rose was 25th in a time of 21:15.7.
Arkansas and Texas captured the NCAA’s automatic bids by finishing 1-2 with 49 and 102 points, respectively, followed by LSU with 154, Texas A&M with 156 and SMU in fifth with 169 points. The Tigers improved upon last year’s fourth-place finish.
“They did not have good starts,” LSU cross country coach Houston Franks said of Rangel and Rose. “At the 2K mark, we were kind of logjammed in the 40-range. With a 1,000 meters to go, we were down and I’m yelling at them and all seven (runners) of them just passed a few people each on the way in and it was enough to move from fourth to third. Unfortunately, not enough to get second.
“The women ran great,” Franks added. “Being super highly critical, I think we could have scored maybe 25-30 points better if we had just a perfect day, but in the end, I don’t think we could have beaten the teams above us. Texas was just a little bit better.”
LSU’s men, led by Jackson Martingayle’s 34th-place finish over the 10K course, was 34th with a time of 31:50.2. The Tigers were 23rd as a team with Arkansas (49) and Texas (55) capturing the automatic bids to advance to the Nov. 19 NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
“He ran really well,” Franks said of Martingayle. “He went out conservative which was kind of the plan and worked his way up. He looked strong over the course. That’s a good, solid finish for Jackson. He’s had a really good fall.”
LSU’s women, which had only two returning runners (Rangel and Sophie Martin) from last season, also got solid performances from Cindy Bourdier (32nd, 21:20.3), Ella Chestnut (36th, 21:24.5) and Addison Stevenson (41st, 21:35.7).
“We’ve gotten better, recruited better people and it’s kind of turned over for us,” Franks said. “It kind of says we’ve been doing something right, getting better and recruiting the right kind of kids.”
Will Dart (89th, 33:40.2) was also part of the men’s group that also included Cade Martin (109th, 33:56.6), Dylan Nimmers (112th, 34.02.4) and Jack Wallace (142nd, 35:17.0).