SLU’s Foster, New Orleans’ Kleshchukova named XC Athletes of the Week

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Shea Foster sets 8k school record for Lions, Kleschukova opens season with top-five finish

FRISCO, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana’s Shea Foster and New Orleans’ Arina Kleshchukova are the Southland Conference Cross Country Athletes of the Week, the league announced Thursday. Southland weekly honors are presented by Hercules Tires.

Foster represented the Lions well at the FSU Winter XC Classic in Tallahassee, Fla., over the weekend, clinching seventh-place honors in the 8k Garnett race that was filled with 143 runners. The junior crossed the finish line with a speedy time of 23:40.6, breaking the school record in the 8k event.

Kleshchukova competed in her first cross country event of the season, wasting no time, and racing to a fifth-place individual finish at the FSU Winter XC Classic. The junior secured a time of 21:30.0 in the 6k event that was stacked with 90 competitors.

Foster’s weekly honor marks the first of his Southland career, while Kleshchukova has now captured the award six times. Regular-season cross country competition is now complete throughout the league as the Southland Cross Country Championships are set for Monday, Feb. 15. The event will be hosted by Southeastern Louisiana at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker, La.

Men’s Athlete of the Week: Shea Foster, Southeastern Louisiana – Jr. Cypress, Texas

Foster ran in the Garnett race of the FSU Winter XC Classic over the weekend, taking seventh place individually in a 22-team field. The junior set a school record in the 8k, crossing the finish line with a 23:40.6.

Honorable Mention: Kolyn Saltzman, New Orleans.

Women’s Athlete of the Week: Arina Kleschukova, New Orleans – Jr. – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Kleshchukova finished fifth overall to open the season at the FSU Winter XC Classic, finishing with a time of 21:30.0, which ranks as the eighth-best time at 6K in program history. She now owns the second, third, eighth and ninth-fastest performances at the 6k distance in program history.

Honorable Mention: Haley Efurd, Abilene Christian; Elsa Rijpstra, Nicholls.

Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.

2020-21 Southland Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Athletes of the Week
Jan. 28 – Men: Eli Peveto, Lamar; Women: Elsa Rijpstra, Nicholls

Feb. 4 – Men: Dennis Kipngeno, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Women: Irene Ono, Abilene Christian

Feb. 11 – Men: Shea Foster, Southeastern Louisiana; Women: Arina Kleshchukova, New Orleans

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