Opening the 2019 season with a strong start, Loyola’s cross country team hit the trails on Friday, Aug. 30, at the University of New Orleans Cross Country Opener at Lake Oaks Park. Following a historic 2018 season, the Wolf Pack set records again with the men taking home a third place win and the women taking fifth.
Last season’s men’s standouts, psychology junior Hayden Ricca and environmental studies junior Walter Ramsey, both placed in the top ten. Ramsey entered the Loyola record books with the second-fastest 5k time in school history, finishing at 15:50 earning him sixth place. Only a few seconds behind was his teammate, Ricca, who placed ninth with another record book time of 15:58.
On Friday, Loyola’s women’s team was led by biochemistry freshman Amber Byrd. Byrd. She placed 26th overall in the 4k race with a time of 17:42. She was very excited to be able to run with the Pack for the first time.
“When we started lining up to begin the race, I looked at my teammates and felt such a rush of pride,” said Byrd.
The Pack has almost doubled in size this year, and they displayed their skills in the first meet as they competed against Nicholls State, Louisiana, ULL, Xavier, Tulane and the University of New Orleans. Head coach Kevin Licht is looking forward to the growth and development of this team.
“This is already a very mature group, so it will take a few races to get things figured out but I believe at the end of the season, they’ll be racing at a big time level,” he said.
The Wolf Pack runners will be in action at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Cross Country Festival in New Orleans City Park on Sept. 14.