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Cross Country: Rice, Irwin Sweep Sun Belt Cross Country Honors

Matt Rice, Ashley Irwin

NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns cross country runners Matthew Rice and Ashley Irwin were named on Wednesday as the Sun Belt Conference Runners of the Week after their performance last week at the 32nd annual FSU Invitational.
Rice, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, covered the men’s 8K course in 25 minutes, 16.53 seconds to claim first-place and lead the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s cross country team to a second-place finish. He was one of three Ragin’ Cajuns runners to finish in the top 15 as Louisiana, ranked No. 14 in the South Central Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), finished with 78 points and behind host Florida State (48), ranked No. 1 in the South Region and No. 18 nationally.
Irwin, a junior from Mandeville, earned a fourth-place finish in the women’s 5K race and was of two Louisiana runners to finish in the top-10 and help the Ragin’ Cajuns to a fifth-place performance. Irwin, who claimed Sun Belt weekly honors on Sept. 17, covered the course in 18:05.59 and was joined in the top-10 by Anna Katherine Devitt, who finished sixth overall in 18:12.33.
Louisiana will return to action on Friday when it hosts the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational at Acadiana Park. The women’s 5K race will begin at 5 p.m. with the men’s 4-mile event scheduled for 5:30. Louisiana will be joined in the event by McNeese State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southern and Louisiana Tech.