Oct. 27, 2006
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -
For the first time since 2001, the Southland Conference Cross Country Championships came and went without a championship performance of some sort by a Stephen F. Austin team or individual. Lamar swept both the men's and women's team titles, conference newcomer Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Shadrack Songok won the men's individual championship, and Clerc Koenck, of Lamar, took the individual title on the women's side, Friday at Pecan Acres Park.
Lamar packed four of its five scoring runners into the Top 6 to win the men's team title, breaking a run of five consecutive SLC wins by the Lumberjacks. The Cardinals completed the sweep by winning the women's team crown and individual title, halting a four-year run of Ladyjack individual champions.
SFA looked strong early in the men's race. Seniors Marc Farris, Julian Acuna and Chance Edwards kept the lead pack within striking distance though the first two loops of the 8,000-meter course. But the leaders -- Songok and Samuel Kosgei and Francis Kasagule, of Lamar -- slowly began to pull away as the race wore on. Songok broke the tape at 24:20 with Kosgei and Kasagule on his heels. Edwards finished eighth, the first of five successive Lumberjacks to cross the line. He posted a time of 25:32. Farris (25:50), Acuna (25:56) and sophomores Teddy Fanta (26:03) and Cole Hollingsworth (26:04) came across ninth through 12th, respectively, to give SFA a team score of 50 points. Lamar finished with 37.
Senior and 2005 SLC individual champion Cody Clark finished 16th with a time of 26:13, sophomore Keith Mahipala was 20th with a time of 26:25 and senior Rodney Joseph crossed the line 28th with a time of 26:57.
In the women's race, two-time defending SLC champion Ashley Monteau led the Ladyjacks with her fifth-place finish. She recorded a time of 22:36. Senior LaKoa McKeever was 11th with a time of 23:18. Freshman Mandy Willis performed well in her SLC debut, crossing the line 15th with a time of 23:35. Junior Katrina Nicholas was 20th, completing the course in 23:48, and junior Kirsten Wieseman finished two places behind her with a time of 23:50, rounding out SFA's scoring runners. The Ladyjacks posted a team score of 73 points.
Freshman Chelsea Bradford came across 28th for the Ladyjacks, posting a time of 24:07, while senior Kimbri Lettkeman was 31st with a time of 24:12, and junior Amber Bagwell finished 33rd with a time of 24:14.
The Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks will return to action on Nov. 11 for the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas.
-- SFA --