The Maroon

Cross country runners see times improve at LSU meet

Cross+country+runner+Brian+Davis+competes+at+the+LSU+Cross+Country+Festival+on+Sept.+16%2C+2017.+The+Loyola+cross+country+team+finished+7th+overall+at+the+event.+Photo+credit%3A+Jc+Canicosa
Cross country runner Brian Davis competes at the LSU Cross Country Festival on Sept. 16, 2017. The Loyola cross country team finished 7th overall at the event. Photo credit: Jc Canicosa

Cross country runner Brian Davis competes at the LSU Cross Country Festival on Sept. 16, 2017. The Loyola cross country team finished 7th overall at the event. Photo credit: Jc Canicosa

Cross country runner Brian Davis competes at the LSU Cross Country Festival on Sept. 16, 2017. The Loyola cross country team finished 7th overall at the event. Photo credit: Jc Canicosa

Jacob Schmitt

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The cross country team headed to Baton Rouge last weekend to compete at the LSU Cross Country Festival, where they finished 7th out of 10. The race, a 5K for the women and a 6K for the men, took place at Highland Road Park and included 10 universities from across the state.

Sasha Solano-McDaniel, sociology freshmen, set a new personal record with a time of 20:08, finishing first on the women’s team.

“I’m still looking to break 20:00. Next week for sure,” Solano-McDaniel said when asked how she felt about her performance.

Freshman standout and environmental studies major Walt Ramsey once again finished first for the Loyola men with a time of 18:47, securing 23rd place out of 61 competitors.

“I was excited to race against a big competition. I think the team looked good, they started to pack together more. Guys like Hank Hendrix really stepped up and had a good performance today,” Ramsey said.

Hendrix, a music education sophomore, also achieved a personal record with a time of 20:15.

Brian Davis, accounting and finance junior, finished with a time of 19:19, securing himself the second spot among Wolf Pack runners.

“I felt really confident going into the race,” Davis said. “Cross country is really a mental game and it is more so who has the stronger mindset going into the race. Just pushing through is always the key. The last 1k was kind of difficult, that’s when everyone starts pushing you around and what not, but you have to stay tough and fight back because if you don’t then they’re just going to knock you all the way to the back.”

Head coach Nick Dodson was once again impressed by the team’s performance and continued growth throughout the season. As runners like Solano-McDaniel cut her 5k time from a 21:11 to a 20:09 and Hendrix’s 6k time improved to a 20:05, just 44 seconds short of last 5k time of 19:21.

“We were very aggressive from the start, which is good. Much better than we were last week,” Dodson said. “I’m really happy with Sasha, she had a PR today which is huge. On the guys side, Walt was unbelievable once again, really led the way for us. And Brian Davis, goodness gracious. Last week he had a little bit of an injury and he really responded well this week. I thought they did really really well as a whole. Our ultimate goal is to win a conference championship and in order for that to happen we’ve got to learn how to pack-run correctly.”

The team has a week off from meets but will continue with the Jacksonville State Foothills Invitational in Oxford, Alabama on Sept. 30.

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Cross country runners see times improve at LSU meet