McNeese State ready for SLC Cross Country Championships - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese State ready for SLC Cross Country Championships

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McNeese State will play host to the 2013 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships on Friday at the Ward 3 Rec Complex beginning at 8:30 a.m. with a women's 6-kilometer race followed by the men's 8-kilometer race at 9:30.

The Cowboys will be looking to repeat as league champions while the Cowgirls are hoping to make some noise in a field full of quality runners.

"We're looking for a good showing and to compete well," said head coach Brendon Gilroy. "This is a great event for McNeese and Lake Charles to host. Of course we couldn't put on something like this without the help off all the staff and community volunteers to assist in putting this on."

McNeese's men the team title last year for the first time since the 1999 season and snapped a streak of six consecutive titles won by Lamar. The Stephen F. Austin women hope to claim its second consecutive title and third in the last four years.

The Cowboys return four runners that placed in the top 25 in last year's championship, by graduate student Alex Bruce-Littlewood, who placed second overall with a time of 24:01.0. Bruce-Littlewood will team up with junior Alex Kiptoo, who earned all-conference honors after a ninth place showing last year. The Cowboys also return sophomore Stephen Kerr, last year's freshman of the year and junior Nicholas Kiprono.

Rounding out the eight runners for the Cowboys will be Ryan Holroyd, Luke Johnston, Matthew Stephenson and Oliver James.

On the women's side, the Cowgirls will be paced by senior Amy Talbot who has finished second in her last two races. Talbot did not finish last year's conference race due stress fracture she suffered midway through the course but placed ninth in the 2011 championships.

"She's been working hard and ready to run," said Gilroy.

The Cowgirls are coming off a team first place finish at the Mississippi College Choctaw Open back on Oct. 19.

Joining Talbot with hopes giving the Cowgirls a high finish are Laura Casey, Lauren Cooper, Angelina Covington, Kaitlyn Jeter, Danielle Jones, Alison Smegal and Corissa Storms.

Lamar leads the men's teams with 11 cross country championships followed by McNeese State with eight, winning its last title in 2012. Original conference member Abilene Christian won the league's first seven championships from 1964-70. Lamar holds the conference record for most consecutive titles with six.

Stephen F. Austin leads the women's teams with seven championships followed by A&M-Corpus Christi with four and Lamar with three titles.

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