Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vaughan, August lead XULA runners at NAIA nationals

ELSAH, Illinois -- Maliya Vaughan and Christopher August were Xavier University of Louisiana's fastest finishers Saturday in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships.

Vaughan, a sophomore in her first collegiate season in this sport, ran 5,000 meters in 20 minutes, 6.05 seconds to place 268th out of 334 runners. It's the second-fastest time ever by a Gold Nugget at nationals. Vaughan finished about 37 seconds against of teammate Taylor Price, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference champion who was XULA's top runner in the first five meets this season. Price had beaten Vaughan by about 37 seconds in the GCAC meet.

August, a senior in his last cross country competition for XULA, placed 301st out of 331 men, and his 8K time of 28:32.5 was the fastest by a Gold Rush runner at nationals since 2012.

Price was 292nd in 20:43.28. Also finishing for the Gold Nuggets were Dionysia Love (300th, 21:00.97), Brianna Pace (318th, 21:53.8), Imani Walker (333rd, 25:44.54) and Bi'Shan Caston (334th, 28:32.04).

The other Gold Rush finishers were Clydarius Everett (325th, 31:07.3), Darrick Williams (329th, 32:16.1), Oji Wells (330th, 34:07.1) and Ammiel Wiliams (331st, 35:37.5).

XULA's men and women both finished last in team scoring. The Gold Rush scored 1,228 points to finish 37th, and the Gold Nuggets were 36th with 1,112 points. The team champions were the women of British Columbia (90 points) and the men of Southern Oregon (122 points). Individual champions were Oklahoma City's Aminat Olowora with a women's meet record of 16:24.28 and Bacone's Jackson Thomas in 23:50.2.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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