Ranger College head coach Kathy Graham was elated to watch on as Loic Rossignaud sprinted his way to a top 10 finish on Oct. 8 at the South Plains Invitational Cross Country Championships. She was even happier when five RC runners placed in the top 17.
"Our top five runners finished within 33 seconds of each other," said Graham. "We have cut the time between our first runner and our fifth by more than two minutes since the start of the season. This is a great improvement over beginning of season and a great way to compete well at the national meet. In smaller meets, it won't matter as much, but it is how you win at big meets."
The proof was in the final result. Ranger College finished third in the final team standings, trailing only South Plains and West Texas A&M, a NCAA four-year university.
"Our fifth runner is very important," said Graham.
Rossignaud continued to pace the RC runners. The freshman raced his way to ninth in the event with a time of 26:57.3.
Troy Wiles narrowly missed the top 10. The sophomore sprinted to a time of 27:10.2 and placed 12th overall.
Larson turned in the run that helped Ranger vault past Western New Mexico in the team standings. He completed the 8-kilometer race in a time of 27 minutes, 33.1 seconds. His time was a full second faster than Wayland Baptist University's Derrick Reid, who came in at No. 18.
In all, 68 runners from throughout the southwestern U.S. competed in the men's race.