Saturday, October 15, 2016

XULA runners produce 4 career bests at Crimson Classic

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Xavier University of Louisiana produced four career bests Friday, all in the women's 6,000-meter race, in the Crimson Classic cross country meet.

It was XULA's final competition before the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships Oct. 22 at Jacksonville, Fla.

The Gold Nuggets' Brianna Pace, Dionysia Love, Maliya Vaughan and Imani Walker finished with 6K bests and were a collective 2 minutes and 15 seconds faster. Pace made the biggest improvement, reducing her time by nearly 78 seconds.

XULA's leaders were the same as they've been in every meet this season — Christopher August of the Gold Rush and Taylor Price of the Gold Nuggets. Competing in the college division — non-NCAA Division I schools — August finished 26th in 28:49.1 for 8,000 meters. Price's 6K time was 25:56.3, and she placed 21st.

The non-DIs competed simultaneously with university division (NCAA Division I) runners. August finished ahead of 14 men, and Price was faster than 26 women from DI.

Pace was 25th in the college division in 26:24.0, Love was 26th in 26:28.7, Vaughan was 28th in 26:44.9, and Walker was 31st in 32:49.0. Pace was the Gold Nuggets' No. 2 finisher for the first time since their season opener.

The other Gold Rush finishers were Clydarius Everett, 40th in 31:48.7; Darrick Williams, 42nd in 32:11.1; Oji Wells, 45th in 33:19.5; and Ammiel Williams, 48th in 35:40.7. Everett, a freshman, was the Rush's No. 2 finisher for the fourth time in five meets.

In college division team scoring, the XULA men finished fifth with 118 points, and the women placed fourth with 96. Among 4-year non DIs, both XULA teams placed third. Winning both team titles were the University of Guelph, an Ontario school whose women are ranked first in Canada and whose men are ranked second. XULA was the only NAIA school at the meet.

The GCAC Championships will resume after a one-year absence. XULA is a nine-time defending team champion in the men's and women's divisions.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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