Lady Tigers Take Third in Region, Chesnut Individually Qualifies for NCAA XC Championship
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The LSU women’s cross-country team finished in third place Friday at the NCAA South Central Regional in Fayetteville, Ark., narrowly missing an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships meet.
The Tigers went all out with a great team performance on Friday, tying their highest finish as a program of third from last season. The top two finishers, first-place Arkansas and second-place Texas A&M, qualified for the national meet which will be held in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, November 18.
“We ran a great race,” said LSU cross country coach Houston Franks. “Obviously our goal all year is to be top two. Tied the best finish in school history, we were third. I don’t know if everybody had a perfect race, but I don’t think as a collective group we could’ve done much better.”
Leading the way with her third meet this season as LSU’s top finisher was sophomore Ella Chesnut, finishing fourth overall in the field of 180 total runners. Chesnut’s time of 20:18.4 shaved over 15 seconds off of her previous PR of 20:34.6 from the Arturo Barrios Invite earlier this season. Her time makes her the highest regional finisher in program history, besting Katy-Ann McDonald (2021) and Charlotte Mayock (1996) who both finished sixth, and just the third Tiger on the women’s side to make nationals as an individual.
“Ella Chesnut on an individual level becomes I believe only the third person in school history to go to the NCAA Cross Country National Championships. It was a stellar performance from her.”
The top-25 finishers from regional meets are recognized as All-Region members by USTFCCCA. Joining Chesnut with this recognition will be the second-highest finisher for LSU today in sophomore Michaela Rose. Rose clocked a time of 21:03.7 to finish 18th and earn the second XC All-Region nod of her young career.
Closing out the scoring for LSU was Lorena Rangel-Batres in 27th with a time of 21:22.1, just missing out on another All-Region nod. In 42nd and 47th were Callie Hardy and Sophie Martin with times of 21:50.0 and 21:56.6 respectively.
“We said we were going to have a gladiator mentality today. We were either going to nationals or going out on our shield taking the race to everybody, and we did that. I am super proud of how we raced today.”
The rest of the women’s team will look to join Chesnut next weekend as they await the NCAA Cross Country Selection Show that will air Saturday, November 11, at 4:00 p.m. CT on NCAA.com. A link to the show will be on the front page of NCAA.com.
The NCAA Championships will be held on Saturday, November 18, at the Panorama Farms course and hosted by the University of Virginia. The women’s 6k is set to start at 9:20 a.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPNU.
Results – NCAA South Central Regionals
Women’s Top-10 Team Scores
1. Arkansas – 36
2. Texas A&M – 90
3. LSU – 129
4. Tulane – 139
5. Texas – 143
6. SMU – 143
7. Arkansas State – 166
8. UT-Arlington – 215
9. TCU – 223
10. Rice – 259
LSU Women Individual Times (6K)
4. Ella Chesnut – 20:18.4
18. Michaela Rose – 21:03.7
27. Lorena Rangel-Batres – 21:22.1
42. Callie Hardy – 21:50.0
47. Sophie Martin – 21:56.6
68. Montana Monk – 22:19.8
109. Addison Stevenson – 22:59.7