GCAC Cross Country Season Preview: Xavier (La.)
The Xavier University of Louisiana Cross Country program is looking to keep its stranglehold at the top of the GCAC, with the men winning eight of the last ten championships while the women have won the title in 13 consecutive seasons.
Yhann Plummer is the reigning GCAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year and two-time defending GCAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The Gold Rush have a trio of top runners returning from last season as Jordan Ashmore, Ahmad Wilson (pictured) and Devin Macklin-Johnson are back on campus.
Ashmore placed seventh at the GCAC Championship in a time of 33:24.7.
Wilson came in eighth at the GCAC Championship with a 33:28.8.
Macklin-Johnson got ninth-place as he ran a personal-best time of 33:29.8 at the GCAC Championship.
The men’s runners have three freshmen ready to contribute immediately as Dayton Jamierson, Mauricka McKenzie and Zacchaeus Mosley look to step right in and compete.
Jamierson qualified for the Track & Field Regional Meet in the high jump and 110 hurdles last year.
McKenzie won Track & Field Conference Championships during both his sophomore and junior seasons while also making the North State Meet for the 110m hurdles and 300 hurdles his junior year.
Mosley helped Carver High School win the Louisiana 4A Track & Field State Championship in the 3,200m Relay and a District Championship in 2019. He also guided cross country to a District Championship in 2018 before placing second last year.
The Gold Nuggets will attempt to build its dynasty on the backs of its two returning female athletes; Alexis Williams and Darryan Horton.
Williams came in seventh-place at the GCAC Championship with a 23:59.6.
Horton earned eighth-place in the Conference Championship with a personal-best time of 24:02.8.
The women will have some new star power as well in Emerald Carter, Jalyn Jenkins and Hannah Young.
Carter was a Louisiana Freshman of the Year nominee as a Freshman for XULA last season and claimed a spot in the NAIA Nationals for indoor track & field with an 8.98 in the 60m hurdles.
Jenkins placed 14th in Tennessee’s Class AAA cross country state meet and got seventh in the State track meet in the 3,200m relay as a high school sophomore. She was vital to Mount Juliet High School winning three-consecutive district track titles.
Young made the All-GCAC Team in outdoor track & field in 2019 and is a two-year letter winner in track and field for the Gold Nuggets.
XULA saw both squads participate in the Mississippi College Watson Invitational on October 17 in its lone preparation meet leading up to the GCAC Championships on November 4.
Cross country previews are now finished, Monday begins the men’s basketball series with the Dillard Bleu Devils.
2019 Men’s Finish: First Place
2019 Women’s Finish: First Place
Head Coach: Yhann Plummer (Third Season)
Top Men’s Returners:
• Jordan Ashmore (Jr, Cedar Hill, Texas)
• Ahmad Wilson (So, New Orleans, La.)
• Devin Macklin-Johnson (So, St. Louis, Mo.)
Key Men’s Runners Lost:
• Samuel Abdellatif (Won GCAC Championship in a personal-record time of 29:09.0)
• Ghassan Alansi (Earned fifth-place at GCAC Championship with a personal-record of 32:55.0)
• Langston Scott (Ran a top-15 time in the GCAC with a personal-best of 34:14.4 during the 8,000m)
Top Men’s Newcomers:
• Dayton Jamierson (Fr, El Paso, Texas)
• Mauricka McKenzie (Fr, Clinton, Miss.)
• Zacchaeus Mosley (Fr, New Orleans, La.)
Top Women’s Returners:
• Alexis Williams (Jr, Luling, La.)
• Darryan Horton (So, LaPlace, La.)
Key Women’s Runners Lost:
• Taylor Price (Won GCAC Championship with a time of 19:44.5)
• Maliya Vaughan (Finished as GCAC Runner-Up with a time of 21:30.8)
• Ky’Reon McBride (Placed fifth in GCAC at a personal-record time of 23:05.9)
Top Women’s Newcomers:
• Emerald Carter (So, Cypress, Texas)
• Jalyn Jenkins (Fr, Mount Juliet, Tenn.)
• Hannah Young (Jr, Plaquemine, La.)
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