Nov. 12, 2011
WACO, Texas - It was a historic day for the Tulane cross country program, as the men's and women's squad both competed at the NCAA South Central Regional for the first time since the 2000 season. The two squads have competed at the regional competition, but have not accompanied each other for over a decade and did so on the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course near the Baylor University campus.
The women's squad placed 18th out of 23 teams with 469 total points, trailing Conference USA foe Houston by just nine points, and placed ahead of all other Louisiana schools. The Green Wave topped LSU (505 points), McNeese State (545) and Nicholls State (554) at the NCAA Regional. The men's squad scored 483 points and placed 17th in their first NCAA postseason action since 2002.
"I am proud of the season that our women's squad has had," said Tulane head coach Eric Peterson. "The six runners that we brought to the regional meet have done a really good job of creating a very positive team dynamic and a working standard that we have been able to apply every single day throughout the season. That dynamic culminated in what was a really good team effort from top to bottom in the lineup today.
Paige and Katherine have done a great job of leading the team throughout the season and they continued to do that today. Emmi and Callie ran their best races today and really finished the season strong. Johanna and Jessica were both very solid today. We have improved throughout the season and I think it is a significant marker for us that we are coming home after placing ahead of all the other teams from the state of Louisiana. This will be a good starting point for our team as we move forward."
Katherine Crabtree was the second runner to cross the finish line for the Olive and Blue and boasted a time of 23:04.00 for a 74th place showing. Crabtree, who led the Green Wave last weekend at the Conference USA Championships, has been a top-two finisher on the team in each of the last four weeks. Junior Emmi Aguillard placed 87th in a time of 23:31.40, sophomore Callie Turlington finished 120th in 24:36.00 and senior Johanna Gretschel was 122nd overall in 24:38.30 to round out the scoring runners for the Green Wave.
"I am really proud of the effort that this team has given all year long," said Peterson, "even though we didn't beat any teams today. This is the first time the men have competed in the regional championships since the program has been brought back and I made the decision to give our seniors, Brian, Max and Mike, an opportunity to compete at this level before they graduated and they gave it their all today.
As we move forward, I am very encouraged by the efforts we are getting from freshman Mark Manion and Cody Gibbons. Mark finished the year with his best race of the season in his first career ten-kilometer race and Cody was our number two runner at the Conference USA championships."
The men's program ran at the NCAA regional in 2002, saw their program dropped after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, returned in 2008 and made their postseason debut in 2011 at the NCAA South Central Regional. This season has seen a trio of seniors lead the way and three freshmen make large contributions to the program.
It was freshman Mark Manion in the front of the pack for the Green Wave on this Saturday, running the ten-kilometer course in 34:19.30. Manion placed 92nd overall and was followed by the senior duo of Max Miller and Brian Lozes. Miller finished his career with a 101st finish in 34:49.70 and Lozes ran his final race in 35:07.50 to finish 104th.
A pair of freshman followed, with Cody Gibbons placing 109th with a ten-kilometer time of 35:32.40 and Geoffrey Zelek coving the distance in 36:14.40 to place 116th. Mike Mainguy closed out his cross country career with a career-best time of 36:24.20 and nabbed a 117th place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional.
The Green Wave conclude a successful campaign that included 16 personal bests, contributions from numerous freshman and the first senior class for the men's squad since the program was reinstated 2008.
"We really have something to build on after this season and that was has really been the focus for both teams all year," said Peterson. "We are starting to build a solid foundation and that we help us improve our recruiting efforts and continue to make progress as a program."
Men's Team Scores
Rank - Team - Points
1. Texas - 40
2. Texas A&M - 56
3. Arkansas - 65
4. Lamar - 93
5. Texas-San Antonio - 196
6. Rice - 202
7. Houston - 214
8. Stephen F. Austin - 253
T9. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 255
T9. Arkansas-Little Rock - 255
11. Texas-Pan American - 298
12. Baylor - 339
13. LSU - 353
14. McNeese State - 365
15. Houston Baptist - 413
16. North Texas - 443
17. Tulane - 483
Place/Adj. - Name - 10K Time
92/85 - Mark Manion - 34:19.30*
101/93 - Max Miller - 34:49.70
104/96 - Brian Lozes - 35:07.50
109/101 - Cody Gibbons - 35:32.40*
116/108 - Geoffrey Zelek - 36:14.40*
117/-- - Mike Mainguy - 36:24.20*
Women's Team Scores
Rank - Team - Points
1. Arkansas - 49
2. Texas - 69
3. Texas A&M - 90
4. SMU - 128
5. Rice - 129
6. Baylor - 182
7. Lamar - 272
8. Texas-San Antonio - 275
9. Stephen F. Austin - 298
10. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - 302
11. TCU - 306
12. North Texas - 356
13. Arkansas State - 365
14. Texas State - 409
15. Arkansas-Little Rock - 427
16. Texas-Pan American - 434
17. Houston - 460
18. Tulane - 469
19. LSU - 505
20. Houston Baptist - 527
21. Texas-Arlington - 537
22. McNeese State - 545
23. Nicholls State - 554
Place/Adj. - Name - 6K Time
68/68 - Paige Callahan - 22:56.00*
74/74 - Katherine Crabtree - 23:04.00
87/87 - Emmi Aguillard - 23:31.40
120/119 - Callie Turlington - 24:36.00
122/121 - Johanna Gretschel - 24:38.30
134/-- - Jessica Dallager - 25:03.80*
* - Personal Record