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Fakler, Jackson lead XU to repeat GCAC championships
October 26, 2013

Results:  Men    Women

     CLINTON, Miss. — Xavier University of Louisiana, led by record-setting Catherine Fakler and repeat champion Kwame Jackson, again won the women's and men's team titles at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
     The team championships were the eighth in a row for the Gold Nuggets and Gold Rush. The XU women have won nine team titles overall, a GCAC record in this sport.
     Xavier's Joseph Moses was voted GCAC Coach of the Year for the eighth consecutive time on the men's side and the fifth straight season and the seventh time in eight years on the women's.
     Fakler ran 5,000 meters in a school-record 18 minutes, 8.32 seconds to win the women's race by more than 90 seconds over teammate Donyť Coleman, the runner-up in 19:42.65. Coleman ran her best time as a collegian at this distance.
     Jackson ran 8,000 meters in 27:15.84 to win the men's title for the second time in three years. Jackson won by 20 seconds over teammate David Holobowicz (career-best 27:35.28), the runner-up for the second consecutive year.
     The top three female and male finishers qualified for the NAIA National Championships at Lawrence, Kan., on Nov. 23. SUNO's Mackola Joseph (20:19.21) was third in the women's race, and Xavier's Brent Kitto was third in 27:52.46 to give the Gold Rush a 1-2-3 finish at this meet for the fifth consecutive year.
     The top 10 female and male finishers were named All-GCAC. All seven Gold Nuggets who competed earned that honor; Hannah Finnegan was fourth in 20:26.10, Reeka Belton was fifth in 20:30.78, Hali Yarmush was sixth in 21:01.32, Briana Simms was seventh in 21:28.75, and Danielle Rogers placed ninth in 21:37.22. Joining Jackson, Holobowicz and Kitto on the men's all-conference team were teammates Christopher August (fourth, 28:08.15) and Aaron Yarmush (sixth, 29:55.37).
     Coleman is the fourth Gold Nugget to be All-GCAC four times. Fakler, Hali Yarmush and Jackson were All-GCAC for the third time.
     Both XU teams missed a chance to repeat to their perfect scores of a year ago, but both came close. The Nuggets scored 18 points to win their title by 55 points over runner-up Dillard, and the Rush scored 16 points to win by 46 over runner-up Edward Waters.
     It was the third consecutive year and the fourth time in five years that Xavier produced the GCAC individual women's champion, and it was the fifth straight season that an XU male placed first in the conference. Fakler broke her XU record of 18:41.03 which she set in winning her previous race, the Ram Ramble Invitational at Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 21. Her 5K time is the fastest at this meet since Mobile's Zola Davis won in 17:47 in 1998.
     Fakler has finished in the top three in all five meets this season and broken XU records three times. She set the 4K mark of 15:34 in the opener on Aug. 30.
     Jackson won for the second time this season and finished in the top six for the fourth time.


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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