Cross country placed first and fourth in the Incarnate Word Invitational last weekend.
The women’s team came in first with 33 points, finishing in front of Southland Conference rivals Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Incarnate Word.
The conditions were not ideal as rain slowed the runners down, but that didn’t stop Diana Garcia-Munoz or Alexandria Hackett from taking first and second place in the 6K that clinched the win for the Wildcats.
“I am happy with our results as a team, especially since it was down pouring after the first mile and the course was substantially more difficult with the mud,” said Michaela Hackett, sophomore from Cranston, Rhode Island. “But we kept strong and did not let it slow us down too much, which says a lot about how much we are willing to fight as a team.”
The women’s team placed second at the same meet last year and was able to improve its results with the help of experienced returners and some newcomers.
“As a team, we can improve on our overall pack time,” said Gabby Thompson, freshman from New Braunfels. “With a smaller pack time, we are more likely to get a higher placing.”
Michaela Hackett, Victoria Gutierrez and Thompson all finished in the top 25.
The men’s team finished fourth, matching their finish from last year.
Although they finished behind their conference rivals, they improved their personal best times.
“I was pleased but not satisfied with the results because almost everyone on the team ran personal bests, which is always something to be pleased with, especially when it happens two weeks in a row,” said Taylor Ochs, junior chemistry major from Midland. “One of our top runners got sick the night before the race or else we would have placed a bit higher in the team standings, but we are moving in the right direction as a team in comparison to last year.”
Daniel Block, senior from Saskatchewan, Canada, led the team in 14th place, and Sterlen Paul, sophomore transfer from Enterprise, Trinidad and Tobago, behind him in 27th.
“I think we were excited to run well with the other Div. I teams at the meet, but my mindset is always to stay unsatisfied and be hungry for better results for the team and myself,” said Ryan Cleary, freshman from Prosper.
The men’s team was able to keep up with Div. I competitors this weekend which gave them a good idea of what the conference meet will be like.
The conference meet will be Nov. 1 in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and will be hosted by Northwestern Sate University.
“The next couple weeks will consist of solid training, then the week before conference, we will probably take pretty easy in an effort to run our best at the very end of the season,” Ochs said. “You can expect us to move up a couple spots from last year in the team standings.”