Pieri, Walston finish 1-2, lead XU to Wolfpack Classic title
September 11, 2010
NEW ORLEANS — The conditions were considerably drier
than a year ago, and Matt Pieri took advantage.
Pieri, a Xavier University of Louisiana sophomore, ran 5,000
meters in 17 minutes, 8.56 seconds Saturday to win the men's individual championship
at the Radisson Hotel Wolfpack Classic cross country meet and lead the Gold Rush to
the team championship.
Pieri, in a field of 53 runners, scored his first collegiate victory and earned
his seventh top-10 finish in 11 collegiate races. It was the fifth time he placed
in the top five.
Junior teammate Ray Walston, the reigning Gulf Coast
Athletic Conference championship, placed second in 17:13.29. It was Walston's
10th top-10 finish at Xavier and his seventh time in the top five.
Also cracking the top 10 was freshman Javon Mead, who was 10th
in 18:32.77 in his second collegiate race. Ex-Marine Charles Shaw (16th place, 18:53.09) and
James Hearn (20th, 19:19.53) also scored for the Gold Rush, which repeated as
team champion with 42 points, five fewer than runner-up Spring Hill.
It was the 12th team championship for the Gold Rush in five seasons.
Xavier scored 65 points to finish third in the women's
division, trailing repeat champion Loyola (28) and Spring Hill (57). Anna D'Souza (22:19.99),
Donyé Coleman (22:25.87) and Brianna Dekine (22:49.31) finished 13-14-15 to lead
the Gold Nuggets.
The Nuggets' first five finishers all ran faster 5K times
than they did in the season opener, and Coleman, a freshman, shaved more than 2˝
minutes off her collegiate debut.
Although the Xavier women lost to two teams they defeated
for a fourth straight GCAC team championship in 2009 — Loyola and Spring Hill
now compete in the NAIA's Southern States Athletic Conference — the Nuggets
are 6-5 after two meets. A year ago the Nuggets were 0-9 through their first
Former collegiate runner Sarah Skotty, competing unattached,
was the first female finisher. Her time was 17:27.77. Loyola's Madeline
Falcone (20:58.87) placed second in the field of 61.
Both Xavier teams will travel to Nashville, Tenn.,
for Vanderbilt's Commodore Classic next Saturday. The meet venue will be Percy
Warner Park, the same site as the NAIA National Championships qualifying meet
and GCAC Championships on Nov. 5.