Posted: Nov 9, 2012 11:31 PM by UL Sports Information
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Zach France finished his final race as a collegiate cross country runner as the lead Ragin' Cajun in Friday's NCAA South Central Regional here at Agri Park as the UL men's cross country team's 2012 season came to a close.
France traversed the 10K course in 33:08.4, finishing 73rd out of the 125 competitors who completed the race.
The Cajuns bid for a strong finish, which could have landed team a Top 15 ranking in the South Central region, was met by challenges from the weather and the loss of Cole Stafford early in the event.
Stafford entered the meet with the squad's best 10K time of the season, a 32:32.0 clocking in October's Chile Pepper Festival.
"Today was a tough day for us," head coach Lon Badeaux said. "It ended up being real hot and windy and losing Cole (Stafford) to an injury during the race hurt our chances of placing in the Top 15.
"I'm still very proud of the effort the guys put forth today and the year that they gave us."
Friday's meet marked the Cajuns' second appearance at Agri Park this season. Back on Oct. 13, the Cajuns participated in the University of Arkansas' Chile Pepper Festival.
France improved upon his Chile Pepper time of 33:22.3 and placed as UL's top runner for the third time this season and first since the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational (Sept. 14).
Freshman Matt Rice joined France in the meet's Top 100 as he turned in a time of 33:28.4 which placed him 80th. Rice ran nearly a full minute faster than his previous 10K outing (Chile Pepper Festival) of 34:21.4.
Lafayette native and Teurlings Catholic High product Trey Bonin just missed out on Top 100 honors, finishing 101st with a time of 34:17.1. Bonin did manage to climb nine spots (up from 110) during the second half of the race.
Corbett Ourso (34:49.8, 112th) and Scott Brewster (36:00.6, 122nd) were the Ragin' Cajuns other two finishers.
As a team, UL finished 17th out of 19 schools. The Cajuns bested LSU (18th, 492 points) by an average time of 34:20.9 to 34:31.2.
France was the lone senior on the Cajuns 2012 squad. All of the other Cajuns runners in the NCAA South Central meet were freshmen, each gaining valuable experience to build upon in the remaining three years as collegiate runners.
The 2012 season came to a close for the Cajuns as only the top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team received an automatic berth into the national meet.
For all of the latest news and information on Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow the athletics department on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/ULRaginCajuns along with @ULRaginCajuns on Twitter.
RAGIN' CAJUNS NCAA SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONALS RESULTS (10K)
73) Zach France (33:08.4)
80) Matt Rice (33:28.4)
101) Trey Bonin (34:17.1)
112) Corbett Ourso (34:49.8)
122) Scott Brewster (36:00.6)