LaCoste leads High Point to strong finish

The High Point University men’s cross country team finished ninth at the 2013 NCAA Southeast Regional in Charlottesville, Va. The Panthers received All-Region performances from both redshirt-sophomore Jeff LaCoste, of Amherst, and senior Patrick Crawford.

“We ran really well today,” head coach Mike Esposito said in a press release. “Our goal coming in was to finish in the top 10 in the region and we were able to do that because all seven of our runners performed well. Jeff and Patrick both ran unbelievably well. Jeff is knocking on the door of the national meet and Patrick ran an amazingly gutsy race.”

Both LaCoste, a graduate of Bishop Guertin High School, and Crawford started the race as part of the front pack of runners and never relinquished their position. The HPU pair stayed among the top 25 runners throughout the entire race.

LaCoste finished 16th in the 10K race with a personal-best time of 29:35.2. The redshirt-sophomore used a strong closing kick to pass six runners in the final two kilometers. LaCoste’s finish is the best individual finish in the region meet in HPU’s Division I history. The previous top finish came in 2002 when Tommy Evans crossed the line in 17th.

Crawford joined LaCoste as an All-Region runner, finishing 20th on the day. The senior set a new personal best with a time of 29:41.8.

High Point was the top finisher among Big South schools. The Panthers finished one spot ahead of Liberty which ended the day in 10th.

Eastern Kentucky took first on the day with 58 points while host Virginia came in second with 96. UNC Greensboro’s Paul Chelimo was the top individual finisher with a time of 28:37.3.

MORGAN ANDREWS

Freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews made the most of her NCAA postseason debut, scoring twice in the first half to propel the Fighting Irish past the Iowa Hawkeyes, 4-1, in South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 15.

The Milford native was supported by a strong Notre Dame back line that produced the team’s other two goals (courtesy of two of its three captains, senior Elizabeth Tucker and sophomore Katie Naughton), and assisted on the latter score (thanks to sophomore Brittany Von Rueden).

Andrews is the fifth Fighting Irish player to score two goals in her first career NCAA Championship match, and first since Jen Buczkowski tallied twice in the 5-0 first-round win over Loyola-Chicago on Nov. 14, 2003 – the others in this elite two-goal debut club are Shannon Boxx (hat trick in 5-0 second-round win over Wisconsin on Nov. 19, 1995), Jenny Heft and Jenny Streiffer (Heft hat trick, Streiffer two goals in 8-1 first-round win over Indiana on Nov. 17, 1996).

Notre Dame will take on Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Western Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Championship at 4 p.m. Friday at the U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.