Cross-country teams begin season

The LSU cross country team will open the door on its 2001 season on Friday evening, when both the men's and women's teams will send abbreviated squads to the Tulane Invitational at Levee Oaks Park at Elysian Fields in New Orleans.

The women will open with at two-mile run at 5 p.m., while the men will follow at 5:30 with a three-mile race.

LSU will compete without a number of its top runners, including 2000 NCAA qualifier Likhaya Dayile of the men's team, as well as the Lady Tigers' top runner Susanne Strunz.

"This meet will be a great opportunity for us to evaluate and develop the middle portion of our line-up," said coach Mark Elliott. "I know what Likhaya and Susanne are capable of doing, but I need to put some of our other runners to the test in a competitive situation to see how they respond before I decide on my top eight runners for the year."

LSU opened the 2000 season under similar circumstances a year ago at the Tulane Invitational and went on to finish third in the men's race and eighth in the women's.

Joining LSU and Tulane will be Alabama, Ole Miss, Southern Mississippi, Mobile, UNO, Southeastern Louisiana, Xavier and Loyola. Alabama is the defending champion in both events.

LSU will take next weekend off before its first true test on Sept. 22, when both squads travel to Albuquerque for the New Mexico Lobo Invitational.

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