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NEW ORLEANS — Southern University men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2017 season with a spirited showing during the New Orleans Cross Country Invitational, Friday, September 1, at Lake Oaks Park.

Head Cross Country Coach Charmaine Darden’s teams, which are mostly comprised of freshman and sophomore runners, earned fifth place finishes in the field of six in both the men’s and women’s division. The men’s team produced an average time of 18:42.23 in the 5 kilometer meet. Southern’s women squad posted an average time of 26:54.85

On the men’s side, sophomore Keshaun Javois secured the Jaguars best mark after running a 17:26.76 and earning 22 points and a top 25 finish. In his first collegiate outing, freshman Nickson Kipleting joined junior Isaac Brown to round out the Jaguars top three finish. 

Kipleting’s time of 18:17.45 garnered the Kenyan a 29th place finish while Brown posted a time of 18:23.92 to round out the top 30.

Junior Danae Colston veteran leadership paced the women’s team with a time of 22:31.70 and recorded a 23rd place finish. The next fastest Jaguar was LaTona Turner, who narrowly missed a top 25 finish with a time of 22:55.55. 

Louisiana-Lafayette was the first place team on the men's side edging LSU by a mere four points.  LSU was tops among the women with 24 points with Louisiana-Lafayette placing second with 36 points.

Following the 2017 cross country opener, Southern’s next competition is set for Saturday, September 9 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Cross Country Festival at Lafreniere Park in Metairie.