XULA’s Price opens season with nearly 30-second victory in Big Easy Opener

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana sophomore Taylor Price ran two miles in 12 minutes, 51.42 seconds Friday to win the women’s individual championship of the Xavier Big Easy Opener cross country meet at City Park.

Price, from Missouri City, Texas, and a graduate of Ridge Point High School, recorded the second-fastest time by a XULA woman at this distance. Catherine Fakler set the record of 12:42.18 in this meet three years ago.

“The course was pretty easy,” Price said. “It went by faster than I thought. For the first mile I paced myself, then on the second mile I just gave what I had left.”

It was Price’s second collegiate victory. She was the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference champion in 2016.

In a meet featuring three city rivals, Loyola won the women’s and men’s team championships and had the men’s individual winner, Walter Ramsey. The freshman ran 5,000 meters in 16:51.79.

XULA’s other top-10 finishers were Maliya Vaughan (third place, 13:46.17) and Brianna Pace (eighth, 15:10.51) in the women’s race and Oji Wells (10th, 19:36.14) in the men’s.

In women’s team scoring, Loyola had 24 points, followed by XULA with 40 points and Dillard with 61. Loyola won the men’s title with 18 points, followed by Dillard with 58 and XULA with 59. Loyola had five of the first seven women’s finishers and five of the first six men’s finishers.

XULA will travel to Clinton, Miss., for the Mississippi College Season Opener next Friday.

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