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Victories for Rush and Jackson, school record for Fakler
August 30, 2013

Results:  Men    Women

     CLINTON, Miss. — Xavier University of Louisiana scored team and individual men's victories Friday and broke a women's school record in its first cross country meet of the 2013 season, the Mississippi College Opener at Choctaw Trails Course.
     The Gold Rush scored 54 points to win the men's championship by 14 points over runner-up Mississippi College, and XU junior Kwame Jackson won the 5,000-meter race in 16 minutes, 34 seconds. It was Jackson's second collegiate victory and his first since winning the 2011 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference title on this same course.
     Junior Catherine Fakler was third in the women's race, running a school-record 15:34 for 4,000 meters. Teammate Zahri Jackson, who did not compete because of injury, set the previous mark of 16:27.58 two years ago in this same meet. The Gold Nuggets were third in team scoring with 73 points, trailing Blue Mountain (34) and Millsaps (54).
     The team championship was the 19th in the modern era of the XU men's program, the 11th in the regular season and the first in a season opener since 2007. Jackson, who led a field of 49 runners, scored the first regular-season victory by a Gold Rush runner since Matt Pieri in 2010.
     "I told our guys in the huddle just before we started that they needed to win this meet. There was no reason why they shouldn't," said ninth-year XU coach Joseph Moses. "Kwame came out relaxed and confident and was running smooth. When he came out those of woods on the back of the course for that final uphill stretch, he was running by himself."
     Jackson won by 10 seconds over runner-up Ryan Campbell, a freshman from Mississippi College.
     Both Gold Rush newcomers finished in the top 10. Sophomore Brent Kitto, running in his first cross country meet since transferring from Louisiana Tech after the 2011 season, placed third in 16:48. Freshman Christopher August was ninth in 17:24.
     Also finishing for Xavier were David Holobowicz (12th place, 17:40), Charles Shaw (29th, 18:48) and Aaron Yarmush (31st, 18:57). Holobowicz posted his best collegiate time at this distance.
     Former Belhaven and Carson-Newman runner Hannah Reese, running unattached, was the top female finisher. Blue Mountain's Kelsea Posadas was second.
     Mississippi College was unable to supply official times for all the women. Xavier's Donyť Coleman was 12th in 17:29, followed by Hannah Finnegan (16th place, 17:54), Reeka Belton (18th, 18:00), Danielle Rogers (29th, 19:17) and Hali Yarmush (30th, 19:19). Coleman's finish was her second highest in a regular-season collegiate meet. Belton and Rogers are freshmen.
     "Catherine stepped up and ran a good race," Moses said. "It was great to see Donyť, a senior, step up and post a high finish. But I thought our women could've won this meet, too, even though we weren't at full strength. We need to redeem ourselves next week."
     Both XU teams will compete Sept. 7 — one week from Saturday — in the Loyola Wolf Pack Invitational at Lafreniere Park in Metairie, La., a New Orleans suburb. Both collegiate races will be 5,000 meters, with the women starting at 7:50 a.m. and the men at 8:25. It will be the second of five regular-season meets for Xavier and its only local appearance of 2013.


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 teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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