AUBURN, Ala.—The Louisiana Tech men's cross country team had an outstanding outing at the Auburn Invitational this weekend, finishing third over-all, placing four runners in the Top 30 in a competition that had over 160 total runners.
"I'm just very proud of the kids," said Louisiana Tech cross country head coach Gary Stanley. "The kids ran hard and I was just very, very pleased in their performance."
Stanley had good reason to be pleased as well because not only did his team finish third over-all in one of the South's best cross country meets, his team finished above numerous big-name schools from both the SEC and ACC. The list of those schools includes: Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss, Auburn and in-state rival, LSU—who finished 7th over-all as a team.
"That was nice right there, anytime you beat an instate rival, that's something special," said Stanley. "For that matter, anytime you beat that many SEC schools, that many people with big names on their chests, that's a great outing."
Louisiana Tech's Zach Shuler was the schools highest placer on the day. The freshman finished 18th over-all, running the Indian Pines course in 24 minutes and 46 seconds. Senior Tim Marshall finished in 25:01, placing him 25th over-all. Kinsey Dinnel, another of Tech's sensational freshmen, finished 26th in a time of 25:01, while sophomore Jace Benoit placed 31st, finished in 25:09. Freshman Nate Davis finished the race with a time of 25:51, placing him 68th over-all and sophomore Wesley Wilson's 72nd place finish in a time of 25:56 rounded out all of Louisiana Tech's runners.
Louisiana Tech was coming off a stellar performance last weekend at their own Mook 5 Invitational where the men's team placed first over-all. This third place finish though is huge for this program, as they have now shown their merit by performing well at such a big-time event.
"This has just been a good trip over-all," said Stanley. "It's been a great weekend, and I'm just can't say how pleased I am with these kids."
"Five of our six guys are Louisiana kids, and it just makes me proud to see them go out there, run as hard as they did, and finish as they did."
The Louisiana Tech men's cross country team will next be in action on October 14, 2006, as they travel to Fayetteville Arkansas to run in the Arkansas Invitational. That race will begin at approximately 9 a.m.