The LSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will host the annual LSU Invitational on Saturday morning at Highland Park in Baton Rouge. The women will get the meet started at 7:30 a.m. with three-mile race with the men following at 8:10 a.m. for a four-mile course.
The Tigers will host McNeese State, UNO, Nicholls State, Southeastern, Southern, Tulane and UL-Lafayette at the eight-team meet.
“We’re looking forward to this meet,” Tigers coach Mark Rinker said. “We’ve changed the course up a bit this year. I think it’s probably a bit better of a course than we’ve run in the past at Highland. We’ve worked out there pretty much every week so far this season, and I think everyone pretty much enjoys the new set up. I think it’s a better course in general, it gives our athletes a chance to run quicker.”
The Tigers were led by a pair of freshmen — Julia Palin and Adam Wise — on both the men’s and women’s squads at the McNeese Opener.
“Julia, on the women’s side, she’s someone that probably not a lot of people have heard about before she came to LSU,” Rinker said. “She had a great spring season her senior year, which was really good for her first year running distance in high school. She has been really fantastic, at the front of all of the workouts, really pushing girls like Ersula (Farrow). They’ve had really great workouts together by pushing each other, that’s been really fun to see. So I think she’ll be a great contribution to the team later in the year.
“Adam Wise, on the men’s side, he was a Louisiana state cross country champion and a one-mile champion. His training with Harrison (Martingayle) and Eric (Coston) has really taken him two or three steps forward this fall. I think he’s going to have a really good season.”
Both teams will be going up in distances at Saturday’s home meet. The three miles for the women will replicate what they will see for most of the season until the postseason meets arrive, and the four miles for the men is a slow progression toward the 8Ks they will be running the rest of the year.
“It’s going to be a good step up in distance for the women and men,” Rinker acknowledged. “For the women, it’ll be good for them to feel what a 5k/3 mile-run feels like. For the men it’s going to be a good transition towards our longer races that are coming up.”
TIGERS TOPPLE ABILENE CHRISTIAN: In Dallas, the Tigers picked up their second straight win, downing Abilene Christian in four sets on Friday afternoon by scores of 25-19, 25-27, 25-17, 25-17 in Moody Coliseum. The Tigers are now 4-6 on the year, while the Wildcats drop to 3-8.
Taylor Bannister led the attack for the 10th match in a row, finishing with a match-high 14 kills. Toni Rodriguez finished with 12 kills, while Lindsay Flory picked up her second double-double on the year of a career-high 42 assists and 11 digs. Raigen Cianciulli finished with a career-high 35 digs, the first time a Tiger had 30 or more digs in a match since Haley Smith against Auburn on Oct. 25, 2014.
The Tigers will finish up the SMU DoubleTree Classic on Saturday, playing tournament host SMU at 2 p.m. Live stats will be available at LSUStats.com and the match will stream live on Pony Up TV.