Dotson, Gold Rush win titles at USM Open
October 16, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Xavier University of Louisiana
freshman Mark Dotson ran four miles in 22 minutes, 38.64 seconds Friday to win the
men's race of the USM Cross Country Open and lead the Gold Rush to its second team
victory of the season.
Ray Walston (season-best 22:54.23), Matt Pieri (22:58.54)
and Darren Wallace (23:07.41) finished 3-5-7 for Xavier, which scored 34 points in the
five-team race. Nicholls State was second with 45 points.
The Gold Nuggets placed third in the women's division
with 80 points behind Nicholls (20) and Southern Miss (42). Ebony Harding ran 5,000
meters in 20:26.76 to finish 11th and lead Xavier, and the Nuggets got season-bests
from Sabrina Vargas (13th, 21:14.00), Ashley Taylor (18th, 22:13.40), and Stacey
Windon (25th, 23:23.62).
Nicholls freshman Dakota Goodman won the women's race in 18:37.54.
Harding finished nearly 42 seconds behind ninth-place Kate Imwalle
of Spring Hill, the defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's individual champion.
Imwalle is 6-0 against Harding during the past two seasons.
The meet was Xavier's sixth of the season and a substitute for
Saturday's Choctaw Open, which Mississippi College canceled because of poor course conditions
caused by wet weather and wear. Southern Miss stepped in to host at Tatum Park this week.
Both Xavier teams will will return to competition
next Friday in the Demon Invitational at Natchitoches, La. It will be Xavier's final
event before the GCAC Championships on Nov. 7.