LU men’s cross country team wins league title

LU men’s cross country team wins league title

Lamar University cross country continued its unprecedented run at the Southland Conference Championships. The men scored 43 points to claim their fourth-straight title and 10th in 11 seasons Oct. 28 at the Pecan Acres Park near the campus of Stephen F. Austin.

On the women’s side, Evelyn Chavez earned Lamar University its sixth individual championship when she crossed the finish line in 21:12.8. That – along with Jannika John’s individual third-place finish – led the women’s team to its second-straight third place.

The men’s win marks the third time in school history that LU won at least four championships in a row, improving the overall count to 15 Southland Conference titles.

Behind Freddie Gasbarri’s second-place finish, Lamar had four runners in the top 10, and its fifth finisher was 19th. Gasbarri recorded his 8,000-meter career-best mark on a 24:20.1 time and only trailed Stephen F. Austin’s Charles Mathenge (24:11.8).

It was the fifth time in the last 11 seasons that the Cardinals took the team championship without the individual champion.

“This was a great team effort. We didn’t rely on a ‘big gun’ up front, but the pack running was our strength and it really came together for us when it mattered most,” said cross country coach Tony Houchin.

Next on the docket for Lamar University cross country is the NCAA South Central Regionals, which will be held at Arkansas on Nov. 11.

Former Lamar University cross country standout Samuel Kosgei took his second Marine Corps marathon title after he used a tremendous final stretch to close out the race with a 36-second margin of victory.

The former 2008 Southland Conference cross country champion from the Junction City, Kansas, won his first marathon in 2014 at the same event. Oct. 30, he finished in 2:23:36, giving him two titles and a runner-up finish in the last three seasons.

Originally from Uganda, the U.S. Army specialist led the Cardinals to three-straight league titles during his tenure with Big Red, and in 2006 he was tabbed as the SLC Newcomer of the Year.

More than 19,000 racers, including men and women, went on to finish – several of whom were active duty military personnel.

Volleyball

With the majority of the week nine vote, Lamar University volleyball’s Chelsea Grant was named the DI Women’s Volleyball HERO of the Week after dominating her competition a week ago, including a career-best 28-kill match against McNeese. The award is given to the athlete who garners the most votes at HEROSports.com’s site.

Lamar will next travel to Abilene Christian on Nov. 5.

Soccer

The women’s soccer team ended its season on a high note with a 1-0 victory over archrival McNeese State in a Southland Conference game Oct. 28.

“We played for our seniors tonight,” LU coach Steve Holeman said afterward. “It’s been a tough season. I am so happy to see all of their joy.”

The Cardinals (2-14-3 overall, 1-7-3 Southland) were playing for pride, as their hopes for a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament had already been dashed.

“I am so proud of this team,” Holeman said. “They could have easily just packed it in and quit, but they kept fighting. That says something about them.”

M.J. Eckart scored the game’s only goal, heading in a corner kick from Samantha Moreno exactly six minutes into the second half. It was Eckart’s team-leading sixth goal of the season.

Prior to the game, the Cardinals honored five student-athletes in Senior Night ceremonies: Angelica Hernandez, Brooke Kirchhofer, Patricia Lauritzen, Zoey Stephenson and Jennifer Yacuta.

“It’s always great to win on Senior Night,” Holeman said. “For the seniors, it’s a memory they will never forget.”

Football

In a season that started with six quarterbacks on the roster at the beginning of the year, the Lamar University Cardinals found themselves down to one last weekend due to injuries as the Big Red fell to Houston Baptist, 24-17, on Oct. 29. The Homecoming loss drops the Cardinals to 3-5 on the season, and 3-3 in Southland Conference play.

“This is a very tough night,” said LU head coach Ray Woodard. “HBU had a lot to do with that. I thought we fought hard, and I thought we tried to fight through it, but it is just a tough night.”

The Huskies scored the first 17 points of the second half to build an insurmountable lead as they rack up 395 yards of total offense. LU’s offense struggled to find its rhythm as the quarterback carousel continued due to all of the injuries. In the past two weeks, the Cardinals have lost five starters, four quarterbacks and had to burn two redshirts.

Freshman Case Robinson came on in relief of Andrew Allen – who left early in the first quarter – and was solid in his first collegiate game. He completed 7-of-12 passes for 66 yards and touchdown, but his opportunity didn’t last long as he was knocked from the game late in the second half. That is when Woodard turned the offense over to Port Neches-Groves freshman Adam Morse, who completed seven passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Nederland freshman Austin Krautz recorded a career effort, carrying the ball 21 times for a career-high 114 yards, including a season-long rush of 56 yards. Linebacker Cameron Hampton led a defensive effort with 10 total stops on the night, including one for a loss. He was one of seven Cardinals to record a tackle for a loss.

The Cardinals return to action Thursday when they travel to Thibodaux, Louisiana, to take on Nicholls at 6 p.m.

Women’s golf

Junior Olivia Le Roux had the best weekend of her career as she led the Cardinals to a second-place finish at the Seton Hall Pirate Invitational that wrapped up Oct. 29.

Le Roux tied for first in the 36-hole event only to lose on the fourth hole of a playoff with Megan Mingo of South Dakota State. Le Roux entered the day one stroke behind Mingo after posting a 79 under cold and blustery conditions on Friday. She bounced back with a 1-over-par 73 on the par-72, 5,902-yard layout at the Trump National Golf Club.

“Olivia had an excellent round today,” LU coach Jessica Steward said. “Most importantly, she kept a level head, even throughout the playoff. She demonstrated a lot of maturity, and I know she will have many more chances to win tournament titles in the future.”

“We played much better today, but unfortunately South Dakota State just outplayed us,” Steward said. “I was happy to see that everybody improved their scores today.”

The tournament marked the end of the Cardinals’ fall season. LU returns to action at the Ball State Invitational set for Feb. 10-11 in Port Lucie, Fla.

Men’s golf

Mans Berglund fired a final-round 68 to vault him into a tie for fifth place as the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational concluded Oct. 30.

Berglund finished at 4-under-par 212 for 54 holes on the 7,096-yard, par-72 layout at the Steelwood Country Club. Berglund saw his scores improve each round as he opened with a 75 in Saturday’s first round and shot a 69 in the second round on Saturday before posting his 68 on Sunday. Berglund had six birdies and two bogeys on Sunday, finishing with a birdie on the par-5, 535-yard 18th hole. His efforts helped the Cardinals tie for sixth place in the 11-team field.

“Mans had a tough start to the tournament, but he righted the ship and finished with another great event.” LU coach Jessie Mudd said.

The Cardinals are idle until they open their spring season at the Mobile Sports Authority Invitational, set for Feb. 22-23 in Mobile, Ala.

“We are going to rest up, work on our deficiencies and come back strong in the spring.” Mudd concluded.

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