LAFAYETTE, La. — Xavier University of Louisiana’s Ray Walston and Yazmin Ramirez broke XU’s two oldest cross country records Friday evening in the Ragin’ Cajuns Invitational at UL Research Park.
Walston, a junior from Atlanta and a graduate of Mays High School, ran 6,000 meters in 21 minutes, 8 seconds — more than three minutes faster than the previous school record — and finished sixth out of 22 men. Ramirez, a freshman from Los Angeles and a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, Calif., ran 4,000 meters in 17:00 to place 12th out of 28 women and shave eight seconds off the previous XU best.
Both previous records were set Sept. 12, 1998, at the Loyola/Tulane Invitational in New Orleans. Farris Gransberry ran the men’s 6K that day in 24:19, and Alisa Byers ran the women’s 4K in 17:08. Three other Gold Rush runners beat Gransberry’s record Friday — Matt Pieri, the Gold Rush’s fastest runner the previous two weeks, was eighth in 21:14. Javon Mead was ninth in 22:34, and Charles Shaw was 14th in 24:03. The Gold Nuggets’ Anna D’Souza was close to Byers’ old mark, finishing 13th in 17:12.
Both individual winners were from Louisiana-Monroe. Moses Chelimo ran the men’s race in 19:33, and Madeleine Robertson won the women’s event in 15:30. ULM won the team titles with 20 points in the men’s division and 32 points in the women’s. Xavier was third out of four men’s teams with 53 points and fourth out of four women’s teams with 82.
The meet was the third of the season for Xavier, which will compete next Saturday in the LSU Invitational at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge, La. The men’s 8K race will start at 9:30 a.m., followed by the women’s 6K at 10 a.m.