XULA welcomes 6 women’s track and field signees

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has signed six more student-athletes to its women’s track and field program.

Joining coach Joseph Moses’s Gold Nuggets as freshmen for the 2018-19 school year will be:

• Mariah Cox, a distance runner from Corona, Calif., and Chino Hills High School. She will be a neuroscience major at XULA.
• Bryanna Lucas, a distance runner from Louisville, Ky., and Central High School. She will major in exercise science.
• Raven Riley, a hurdler and high jumper from New Orleans and Lusher Charter School. She will be a biology/pre-medical major.
• Clarke Taylor, a sprinter from San Diego, Calif., and Scripps Ranch High School. She will be a biology/pre-medical major.
• Alexis Williams, a sprinter from Luling, La., and Hahnville High School. She will be a dual-degree engineering major with concentration on biology and biomedical.
• Hannah Young, a sprinter, hurdler and triple jumper from Plaquemine, La., and The Church Academy in Baton Rouge. She will be a biology/pre-medical major.

Cox was all-league in cross country and soccer and has PRs of 19 minutes, 36 seconds for three miles, 20:30 for 5,000 meters and 12:49 for two miles. As a junior she tied the Chino Hills school record by high-jumping five feet.

Lucas finished third in the Kentucky Class AAA state meet in the 800 this year and was state runner-up as a freshman. Her PR of 2:14.69 is a school record.

Riley finished in the top three at the LHSAA 3A state outdoor meet in the 300 hurdles for four straight seasons, including a third this year with a PR and school record of 44.97. She was a member of three state-champion relay teams during her career. Other PRs include 16.06 in the 100 hurdles and 12.71 in the 100. Her older sister is Ry-Anne Riley, an NAIA All-American in the 1,600 relay as a freshman in 2017.

Taylor was a member of Scripps Ranch 400 relay teams that broke the school record each of the past two seasons. She was a state-meet qualifier as a junior, and she qualified for the CIF San Diego Finals as a junior and senior in the 400 relay, 100 and 200. Her PRs are 12.34 in the 100 and 25.68 in the 200.

Williams placed fourth in the 400 at the LHSAA 5A state meet each of the past two seasons. She also helped Hahnville finish second at state in the 1,600 relay this year. Williams won four meet MVP awards as a senior. She was a regional runner-up in the 400 as a junior, and her PR at that distance is 57.13.

Young was a five-year standout in track and volleyball at The Church Academy, formerly known as Christian Life. As a senior she was third in the 100 hurdles, fourth in the triple jump, fifth in the 200 and sixth in the 200 at the LHSAA 2A state meet. Her PRs include 15.80 in the 100 hurdles and 12.45 in the 100.

Cox and Lucas also will compete for XULA cross country. Lucas, however, will not enroll at XULA until January because of a commitment to the U.S. Navy Reserve.

The Gold Nuggets have seven newcomers for next season. Sprinter Ariel Ford of Mansfield, Texas, and Lake Ridge High School was a November signee.

The XULA women have won five of the last six GCAC outdoor track team championships, including 2017 and 2018. They won the last 11 GCAC team championships in cross country.

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