LAKE CHARLES, La. - The distinguished collegiate career of Abilene Christian senior distance runner Chloe Susset reached its end Friday at the Southland Conference Championships when the native of Clery Vexin, France, finished fifth of 102 runners with a season-best 6K time of 21:29.4.
The top-five showing earned Susset a spot on the all-conference first team, making her the first Wildcat to receive this proud distinction since ACU moved back to the Southland Conference earlier this year.
The only four runners to finish ahead of the Wildcats' all-America were Central Arkansas' Brooke Cassar (1st, 20:42.1) and Erika Setzler (3rd, 21:06.3), and Leigh Lattimore (2nd, 20:54.9) and Louise Webb (4th, 21:17.4) of team champion Lamar.
Cassar is UCA’s first individual winner.
The Cardinals had three additional competitors finish among the top 15 to win their fourth conference crown and first since 2006 with 36 points. UCA was a distant second with 78 points and Stephen F. Austin was third with 97 points.
The Wildcats' placed seventh in the 14-team field with 192 points and just missed finishing ahead of Houston Baptist, which finished sixth with 190 points.
Freshman Diana Garcia-Munoz was the Wildcats' second finisher as she completed the course with a 19th-place mark of 22:27.2. ACU newcomers Landa Dowdy (23.38.4), Michaela Hackett (24.25.0) and Kimberly Lamadrid (25:18.5) also scored for the Wildcats as they all placed among the team's top-five runners.
For Susset, today marked her fourth top-six showing at a conference meet. She placed sixth at her first Lone Star Conference meet in 2009 (24:12), and then placed third there in 2010 (16:29.76 - 4.5K) before earning runner-up honors in 2011 with a time of 21:51.
The ACU men's team, meanwhile, finished in 10th place with 291 points, beating teams from Southeast Louisiana, Northwestern State, New Orleans and Nicholls State. Junior and newcomer Daniel Block was the first Wildcat to cross the finish line with a season-best 8K of 27:06.9.
Block joined the Wildcats this summer after competing in several mid-distance events during the 2012-13 season for the University of Saskatchewan, where he was a Canada-West first team all-star.
Senior Erik Forrister, who led ACU at each of its five regular-season meets, was the second Wildcat to finish with a mark of 27.19.5. He was followed by sophomore Chad Caton (28:00.6), senior Gary Duncan (29:11.1) and freshman Reid Rivers (29:19.4).
Lamar coasted to the men's team title with 26 points as all five of its runners - led by individual champion Matt Johnsen (24:38.8) - finished among the top 10. Stephen F. Austin (54 points) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (88 points) were second and third, respectively.