Lusignan makes SDSU history as NCAA qualifier



 The Jackrabbit cross country team had made history as junior Trent Lusignan qualified for Nationals taking second place in the NCAA Midwest Regional meet held in Ames, Iowa on Friday Nov. 15.

Lusignan is the first Jackrabbit runner to make it to a national meet since SDSU moved into Division I sports. He also placed the highest that any Summit League runner has ever finished in a regional meet.

This came to somewhat of a surprise to head coach Rod DeHaven as Lusignan outperformed his expectations.

“I was surprised he took second place,” DeHaven said. “ But surely not surprised that he made the NCAA Championships.”

Not only did Lusignan perform above expectations in the meet he also surprised himself topping his own personal best.

“It’s better than what I was expecting,” Lusignan said. “ I showed, I am better than I think I am.”

The mental focus was also a big part of Lusignan’s preparations for Regionals.

“I was mentally there,” Lusignan said. “ I had been thinking about that race for months … I thought I was good enough to be up there and be at a high place when it came down to it.”

The meet itself was a mental and physical battle for Lusignan as he had to outlast his competition and be smart enough to make the right move at the right time.

“There were about 40 guys at the top the first five miles of the race,” Lusignan said. “Anxiety building up, everybody is waiting for the big move to be made … I’m the one that actually broke it wide open, held on as long as I could, and took second place.”

Lusignan has been the front runner for the team the whole season being a top finisher for the Jackrabbits in most of the meets that he has ran this season. DeHaven thinks that the whole team can feel proud for contributing to Lusignan’s success.

“They [the team] all know that it is not an easy sport to do by yourself,” DeHaven said. “You gotta put in the work and shared misery that comes with cross country … it creates a pretty strong bond that they can all share in Trent’s experience.” 

Preparing Lusignan for the national meet will be more of a mental task than a physical one. Dehaven feels that Trent has the tools – just needs to be mentally focused.

“There’s the old saying that the hay is in the barn,” Dehaven said. “The only thing we can do is not screw it up.” 

Lusignan’s main focus is to be confident but not overthink his competition.

“I probably think about it too much,” Lusignan said. “People have been telling me stuff and I like what I am hearing so it builds up my confidence.”

Lusignan will leave Thursday Nov. 21 for Terre Haute, Ind. where he will compete at the national meet on Friday Nov. 23 at 12 p.m.