Ladyjacks Show Strong in Houston
Sept. 14, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas – Lauren Smith took the individual championship to lead all Stephen F. Austin cross country runners on Friday at the 37th annual Justin F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitational in Houston.
Smith continued where her 2011 season ended, setting the pace for the Ladyjacks with a time of 12:47 to lead all female runners in the 3,800-meter course. The championship is her first non-conference championship in her career. Smith finished second overall at the same invitational last season on her way to individual marks in both the Southland Conference Pre-Conference Meet and Cross Country Championships.
The Ladyjacks took fourth overall as a team, getting an 11th-place finish from senior Randi Plentl (13:12) and a 49th-place finish from junior Rebecca Blubaugh (13:59) to round out the top 50 in the field. Senior Danielle Burchett (14:00) and sophomore Laurie Byrd (14:13) recorded respective finishes, crossing in 51st and 61st for SFA, and sophomore Amanda Walters (14:55) took 99th to round out the Ladyjacks.
Over on the men’s side, senior Hunter Russell led all Lumberjacks with a time of 18:08 to take 63rd in the men’s 6,000-meter race. Meanwhile, sophomores Colby McCune (18:46) and Cameron Courtney finished within two seconds of each other, registering 94th and 96th place finishes themselves, to round out the SFA lineup.
SFA next competes Sept. 28 when it travels to Austin for the Grass Routes Grand Prix.