LSU’s Carleton wins state cross country honor

LSU Track & Field 2009, Laura Carleton
LSU Track & Field 2009, Laura Carleton

LSU senior Laura Carleton was named the 2012 Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s female runner of the year.

Carleton, a native of Lake Charles, was the leader of a Lady Tigers squad that finished in the top 10 of every meet in which they competed, including first-place finishes at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede and the LSU Invitational.

In each of the races, Carleton was the frontrunner for the Lady Tigers, placing fifth at the Commodore Classic, first at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede and LSU Invitational, fourth at the Chile Pepper Festival, 12th at the SEC Championships and 20th at the NCAA South Central Regional meet. She was named to the All-SEC second team and was an All-South Central Regional selection.

Jessica Stone, a University of New Orleans senior and native of Shreveport, competed in her first collegiate season and was the top female finisher for the Privateers in three meets (Ragin’ Cajun Invitational, Loyola Wolfpack Invitational, Cowboy Relays).

Stone’s 14th-place finish at Loyola (22:08) was only the second top-20 finish since UNO reinstated cross country in 2011 and the highest for a Privateer in the same time period. She finished 33rd at the Wolfpack Invitational (24:01.37), UNO’s top individual finish. She began the season with, teaming with Soledad Arroyo for the best duo finish for UNO at the McNeese Relays.

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Anna Katherine Devitt was named the Freshman of the Year after leading the Ragin’ Cajuns in every race. A native of Baton Rouge, Devitt recorded two 5K times of less than 20 minutes and was seconds away from a third 5K race under 20 minutes (20:01) at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede.

She placed second in the Ragin’ Cajun Invite in only her second collegiate meet (5K time of 19:18.9). Devitt led the Cajuns for the fifth time in as many outings at the Sun Belt Championships.

She posted a season-best 5K time of 18:53.6 that landed her in 18th place. She was one of only 20 competitors out of 83 to finish under 20 minutes, missing all-conference honors by four seconds.

Xavier’s Joseph Moses was named coach of the year after leading the Gold Nuggets to their seventh consecutive team championship and a berth in the NAIA National Meet for the fourth time in five years. Moses was also named the GCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth straight year after leading his team to a 33-9 record prior to the national meet, including wins over Seton Hall. The women’s team posted the GCAC’s first perfect score at the league meet since 1996 with a team that broke Xavier’s 5K and 6K records.