SFA Finishes Second/Third At SLC Championships
Nov. 1, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - The Stephen F. Austin men's and women's cross-country teams finished second and third Friday morning at the 2013 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships at the Ward 3 Rec Complex.
The Lumberjacks recorded a second place team finish and put three runners on All-SLC teams, while the Ladyjacks finished third and recorded one all-conference performance in the 14 team field.
"We put three in the top 10," head cross-country coach Cody Clark said. "To do that and get second overall, it's hard to find anything wrong with that. With Nick (Guerra) getting third, Cody (Brown) having his best race of the year in sixth and Anthony (Gallardo) in eighth, that was absolutely big for us. We are a young team and this only excites me more for the seasons to come for these guys."
Sophomore Nick Guerra (25:03.30) finished less than a minute of the lead to take a third place finish and record first team All-SLC honors. Guerra paced the SFA field and edged Lamar's Sam Stabler by four seconds to prevent the SLC champion Cardinals from recording the top three finishes in the 8,000-meter run.
Sophomore Cody Brown (25:16.30) and freshman Anthony Gallardo (25:27.30) crossed the line just over 10 seconds apart to finish sixth and eighth, respectively. The `Jack tandem both took second team honors with their finishes.
"Going towards the regional meet, the men are looking to break SFA's top finish of third back in 2003," Clark said. "That has been one of their goals and we have a good chance to get there, as well as have a good chance to have some of them qualify for nationals.
"On the women's side, you have to give credit to Lamar. They ran hard and controlled the race. Central Arkansas had a solid race too. Laurie (Byrd), Becca (Blubaugh) and Sam (Ottoman), each ran hard. Some of the other girls had off days and it showed in the results."
Junior Laurie Byrd (21:30.90) led the Ladyjacks. The native of La Grange, Texas, took home second team honors with her sixth place finish in the 6,000-meter run.
SFA's Becca Blubaugh (22:18.20) and Shelby Pesek (22:21.90) crossed just under four seconds apart, to take 16th and 17th, respectively. Freshman Samantha Ottman (22:55.60) finished within the same minute to take 25th overall.
Underclassmen Katrina Fite (22:55.60), Rana Ryan (23:33.40) and Bridgette Kozar (24:25.80) brought up the end for the Ladyjacks. Fite finished 33rd, as Ryan and Kozar took 41st and 61st overall out of 102 participants.
"The women are looking to show that they are better than a third place team and deserve more respect," Clark said. "We will have to prove ourselves at the regional."
The SFA men's and women's season will continue with the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 15, in Waco, Texas.