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Cross Country: Rice, Devitt Lead Ragin’ Cajuns At Cowboy Stampede

Matt Sullivan, Sports Information Director

Men finish second, women third in seven-team meet

Matthew Rice

Men’s Results (PDF) | Women’s Results (PDF)

LAKE CHARLES – Paced by top-5 performances in their respective events from Matthew Rice and Anna Katherine Devitt, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns cross country team earned a pair of solid finishes on Saturday at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede at the Ward 3 Multisports Complex.
Louisiana earned a second-place finish in the men’s 4-mile race with 66 points, finishing behind meet champion McNeese State. The Cajuns finished ahead of LSU (73), Tulane (83), Southeastern Louisiana (146), Northwestern State (150) and Southern (225) in the seven-team meet of in-state Division I schools.
In the women’s 5K event, Louisiana scored 68 points and placed third overall behind LSU (34) and Tulane (54). The Ragin’ Cajuns finished ahead of McNeese State (80), SLU (146), Northwestern State (151) and Southern (194) in the seven-team race.
"Both of our No. 1’s are really coming into form for us," Louisiana head coach Lon Badeaux said about both Rice and Devitt. "They both ran a great race on a fast course and really carried us today against a very good field."
Devitt, who earned her second top-5 finish of the season and fifth of her career, covered the 5K course in a personal-best time of 17:36.5. The junior was one of six runners for the Ragin’ Cajuns to finish under 19 minutes for the Ragin’ Cajuns with their average time among their top five runners (18:23) finishing four seconds ahead of the pace set by 2013 Sun Belt champion Arkansas State.
Ashley Irwin earned a sixth-place finish for the Ragin’ Cajuns with a time of 17:45.4 while Danielle Castaldi (18:46.1) finished 20th, Claire Hodges (18:50.7) 22nd and freshman Courtney Broussard (18:52.1) 23rd. Tulane transfer Kelci Lyons (18:53.0) finished 25th for the Ragin’ Cajuns with freshman Lindsay LaGarde finishing 39th (19:20.7), Kaylei Esfeller 48th (20:13.6) and Camille Barnett 59th (21:16.9).  
"To have six girls post times of under 19 minutes in a 5K is a huge step in the right direction for us," Badeaux said. "Three years ago, we had one. If we keep moving in this direction, we’re going to be in competition at the Sun Belt Conference Championships."
Rice, who earned his first top-5 finish of the season, crossed the finish line in 19:42.0 to finish fifth overall and lead the Ragin’ Cajuns on the 4-mile course. The Baton Rouge native was one of three runners for Louisiana to finish in the top 15.
Bryce Robinson earned a 12th-place finish for the Cajuns after finishing in 19:57.1 with twin brother Beau Robinson finishing 15th in 20:03.4. Another freshman for Louisiana, Logan LaGarde, finished 20th overall after posting a time of 20:28.5 with sophomore Logan Pearce finishing 21st in 20:30.1.
Sean Bezdek covered the course in 20:43.4 to finish 24th for Louisiana while Dylan Heck (20:55.9) placed 29th, Jacob Chicola (21:30.0) was 38th, Trey Bonin (21:33.4) 39th and Scott Brewster (21:34.1) 40th.
Louisiana will return to action on Oct. 10 when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete for the second consecutive year at the Florida State Invitational.
2014 McNeese Cowboy Stampede Final Results
September 27, 2014
Lake Charles, La. (Ward 3 Multisports Complex)

1. McNeese State 31, 2. Louisiana 66, 3. LSU 73, 4. Tulane 83, 5. Southeastern Louisiana 146, 6. Northwestern State 150, 7. Southern 225.
5. Matthew Rice 19:42.0; 12. Bryce Robinson 19:57.1; 15. Beau Robinson 20:03.4; 20. Logan LaGarde 20:28.5; 21. Logan Pearce 20:30.1; 24. Sean Bezdek 20:43.4; 29. Dylan Heck 20:55.9; 38. Jacob Chicola 21:30.0, 39. Trey Bonin 21:33.4; 40. Scott Brewster 21:34.1.
1. LSU 34, 2. Tulane 54, 3. Louisiana 68; 4. McNeese State 80, 5. Southeastern Louisiana 146, 6. Northwestern State 151, 7. Southern 194.
5. Anna Katherine Devitt 17:36.5; 6. Ashley Irwin 17:45.4; 20. Danielle Castaldi 18:46.9; 22. Claire Hodges 18:50.7; 23. Courtney Broussard 18:52.1; 25. Kelci Lyons 18:53.0; 39. Lindsay LaGarde 19:20.7; 48. Kaylei Esfeller 20:13.6; 59. Camille Barnett 21:16.9.