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Mark Dotson

Mark Dotson

     3-time state-champion runner signs with XU
March 5, 2009

     NEW ORLEANS — Mark Dotson, a three-time state-champion distance runner from Holy Savior Menard Central High School in Alexandria, La., has signed a men's cross country scholarship with Xavier University of Louisiana.
     Dotson, 5 feet 11 and 128 pounds, was the Class 2A cross country individual state
champion in 2008 and 2007 and added a third state championship less than two weeks ago when he won the Division II 1,600-meter run at the LHSAA indoor meet. According to LouisianaRunning.com, his best times are 4 minutes, 36.64 seconds in the 1,600, 10:21.16 in the 3,200 and 15:40 for the three-mile run in cross country. His three-mile best is 15 seconds faster than Xavier's heralded November signee, Matt Pieri of New Orleans and Brother Martin High School.
     "You can never have enough talented runners in cross country," Xavier coach Joseph Moses said. "We got another great one in Mark Dotson, who like Matt Pieri can be a difference-maker. Men's cross country at Xavier just took another step in getting credibility at the NAIA national level."
     Dotson made the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper's All-Cenla cross country first team for four consecutive years, and he was The Town Talk's boys runner of the year in 2007 and 2008. In December he competed for Rapides Junior Track Club in the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Richmond, Va., where he finished 71st out of 135 in the young men division.
     "Once he started running for us (in eighth grade) he never quit," said Wally Smith, Dotson's coach at Menard. "The last two years he's been doing 40, 50, 60 miles a week — in part because he wants to get as good as he can be, but the other part is that he just loves running. He's a quiet guy with a great sense of humor."
     Xavier is the three-time defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference champion in men's and women's cross country, and both teams qualified for the 2008 NAIA National Championships. The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will begin their 2009 seasons in late August or early September.

2009 Xavier men's cross country recruits
Name Ht. Wt. Yr.* Hometown High School
Mark Dotson 5-11 128 Fr. Alexandria, La. Holy Savior Menard
Matt Pieri 5-6 130 Fr. New Orleans, La. Brother Martin
* classification at Xavier in fall of 2009.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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