Cards win SLC cross country championship

Lamar University men’s cross country team

It was the tightest finish since 1989, but the Lamar University men’s cross country team claimed its ninth Southland Conference Championship in 10 seasons behind the individual winner, freshman Iliass Aouani, who marked in at 24:24.6 on Oct. 30 at the Country Campus Golf Course at Sam Houston State.

The men’s team, which ran 8,000 meters, had five runners in the top eight with Alex Dunbar, Sean Chalmers, Gabriel Steffenson and Tobias Riker all finishing in the 5-8 slots, respectively. The Cardinals, at 27 points, defeated Stephen F. Austin by only two points. SFA had runners finish second, third, fourth, ninth and 11th.

The women’s team took third at the meet on 84 points, giving it the fifth-straight top three finish. Jannika John grabbed second in the 6,000-meter race on a 21:04.5 time and Verity Ockenden was right behind in third place 21:04.9 mark. Abilene Christian (43 points) took the top spot on the women’s side, and Stephen F. Austin (52) took second place in both races.

First-team All-Southland Conference honors went to Aouani, John, Ockenden and Dunbar; to earn first team honors, a runner had to finish in the top five. Second-team awards were given to Chalmers, Steffenson and Riker. John, Ockeden and Dunbar were all first-team all-league honorees in 2014 as well.

His championship run gave Lamar its third-straight individual championship after Stabler did it in 2014 and Matt Johnsen in 2013, and was the ninth Southland Conference individual champion from Lamar. LU’s team SLC championship was the 14th in program history; the next closest mark is McNeese State’s eight.

“Three individual champions in three years – and all of them different guys – says a lot about your program,” said cross country coach Tony Houchin. “When you lose a big gun at the front like Sam Stabler, you hope someone will step up and fill the hole. For us, it just so happened to be a freshman.”

Next time out for Lamar University will be at the NCAA South Central Regionals held at Texas A&M on Nov. 13 at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course.

Women’s soccer

Freshman Jordan Mulnix became the first Lamar University women’s soccer player to earn first-team All-Southland Conference honors, as she was named to the 2015 squad.

Mulnix set a single-season scoring record with 28 points this past season while tying the school record for goals in a season with 12.

“Jordan had a tremendous season,” LU coach Orlando Cervantes said. “She continued to get better throughout the season, and we’re looking for even bigger contributions from her in the future.”

Mulnix ranks second in the Southland Conference in goals and third in points. In conference play, Mulnix had six goals and one assist for 13 points, good for seventh in the league in scoring.

LU sophomore Alexus Aviles and senior Mari Olastuen earned honorable mention all-conference honors. Aviles was second for the Cardinals in scoring with 19 points on nine goals and one assist, while Olastuen set the single-season LU assist mark this year with nine helpers to go along with four goals for 17 points.

LU finished the season with an 8-11-1 overall record, including a 4-6-1 mark in Southland Conference play. The Cardinals tied with Central Arkansas for the final berth in the Southland Conference Tournament but lost out on a tiebreaker.

“We have a great nucleus of young players returning,” Cervantes said. “Five of our top six scorers are back, to go along with two freshmen who missed the season due to injury. I’m excited about the future of our program.”

Senior defender Megan Campbell was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Women’s Soccer Team for District 7. Campbell is now on the ballot for the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.

It’s the second straight year Campbell has been named to the academic all-district team. The native of Coral Springs, Florida, carries a 3.94 grade-point average in mechanical engineering.

Women’s golf

Taylor Stockton finished in a tie for 24th to lead the Cardinals at the UAB Fall Beach Blast that wrapped up Nov. 3.

Stockton posted a 5-over-par 77 at the Cypress-Marsh Course at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club to finish at 7-over-151 for the 36-hole event. Stockton finished one stroke ahead of teammates Wenny Chang and Olivia Le Roux, who tied for 28th at 8-over 152. Chang had the best round of the day for LU, a 3-over-par 75.

As a team, the Cardinals placed 11th in the 11-team field, with a two-day total of 619, 12 strokes behind Belmont University, which was 10th at 607. Southern Miss won the team title with a 593, two strokes ahead of McNeese State and three strokes better than Western Kentucky.

“We made a few big numbers today that hurt us,” said coach Jessica Steward. “We have done a great job minimizing those so far this fall, but a couple of holes really cost us today.”

Tuesday’s round marked the end of the fall season for the Cardinals, who return to action at the Islander Classic, which is set for Feb. 22-23 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“Overall, we had a good fall, but I think we’re ready for a break,” Steward said. “We’ll come back ready to have a good spring.”

Stockton was named the Southland Conference Women’s Golfer of the Month for October.

“Taylor is definitely deserving of the award,” said Steward. “She had a great month, and she keeps working hard in order to get better. I’m very proud of her.”

Football

The Homecoming football game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. at Provost Umphrey Stadium as the Cardinals (4-4, 3-3) will take on the Nicholls Colonels (1-7, 1-5) on Saturday, Nov. 7.

The Cardinals have owned the Colonels since the football program returned in 2010 by going 4-0 over Nicholls since 2011 outscoring them 187-105. 

Volleyball

LU fell to Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 3 by the score of 3-1 to fall to 13-13 overall and 3-9 in league place while SFA improved to 18-12 and 9-4.

Autumn Taylor had 14 kills, and Chelsea Grant added 11 with five blocks.

The Lady Cards will play at New Orleans on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. and head to Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Nov. 7, at noon.

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