(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University New Orleans men’s and women’s cross country teams head to Clinton, Mississippi for the 2013 SSAC Cross Country Championships. The team will run at Choctaw Trails on Saturday, November 9th at 8 a.m.
The women’s team will be competing against 11 other SSAC schools. The Pack finished second among five SSAC schools at the Sand Shark Invitational in their last meet. They finished nine points behind Emmanuel and in seventh place overall at the meet. Annie Hills took 19th place at the meet as she set a new school record of 19:14. Francesca Vaccaro and Kennedi Henneberger finished with the 3rd and 4th fastest 5K times in Loyola history.
“I think our women’s pack will be closer than it has been all year. They have been training specifically for this meet so I think they will be closer and push each other even more. We are aiming for a 50 second gap between our top five runners and if we do that we’ll have a great chance to win. They have looked good in practice- refreshed, energized, and ready to go. The chemistry between the team is the best it’s been in my six years here,” stated head men’s and women’s cross country coach Andy Canegitta.
The men’s team will be competing against 10 other SSAC schools at the championship meet. The men’s team also finished second among five SSAC competitors at the Sand Shark Invitational. Paul Freese led the way with the seventh fastest 8K time in the school annals with a mark of 26:53.
“The guys are running great this year. I have been very impressed as they have been focused in preparing for the meet. Paul is going to go out aggressively and he’ll pull the others with him. They know this could potentially be their last race and so they are going to put forth a great effort,” said coach Canegitta.
The top two teams on the women’s side will qualify for nationals and the top seven runners who are not on the top two teams will qualify as individuals. On the men’s side the top team will qualify as well as the top five runners. The NAIA Nationals are in Lawrence, Kansas on November 23rd.