Xavier's Fakler runs 5K in 19:04.8, places third in Pensacola meet

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Xavier University of Louisiana's Catherine Fakler ran 5,000 meters in a season-best 19 minutes, 4.8 seconds Saturday to finish third out of 98 female runners in the Gulf Coast Stampede cross country meet.

Fakler's time is the third-fastest in the Gold Nuggets' history and a record by an XU junior, nearly 45 seconds faster than Ebony Harding's 19:48.54 at the 2008 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships. One week ago, Fakler ran a 5K in 20:15.90.

Fakler has placed third in all three of the Gold Nuggets' meets this season. She has 12 career top-10 finishes and nine career top-5s in 18 collegiate meets.

Kwame Jackson led the XU men for the third consecutive week, running 8,000 meters in 27:30.3 and placing 21st out of 101 runners. Jackson's time is the 11th-fastest by a Gold Rush runner since the start of the 2002 season.

In the team scoring, the Gold Nuggets scored 148 points to place sixth out of 10 four-year schools and sixth out of 12 schools overall, which includes two junior colleges. The Gold Rush scored 185 points to place sixth out of nine four-year schools and seventh out of 10 overall.


Also in the upper half of the individual standings for the Gold Nuggets were Donyé Coleman (32nd place, 21:07.1), Hannah Finnegan (35th, 21:15.5) and Reeka Belton (44th, 21:39.2). Also placing in the top half of the men's race were Xavier's Brent Kitto (34th, 28:06.8), David Holobowicz (36th, 28:11.0) and Christopher August (40th, 28:17.5).

Harding swept the women's and men's team and individual titles. Junior Ewa Zaborowska won the 5K in 18:25.3, and senior Andrew Evans won the 8K in 25:54.9.

Both XU teams will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, for the Ram Ramble Invitational next Saturday.