The men and women’s cross-country team is enjoying a week off from training as the 2015 season has ended.
The women’s team ended with school history, as they claimed the first ever conference title for ACU since the school’s transition into Div. I. Junior Allie Hackett capped off a dominating season at the Southland Championship meet on Friday when she claimed the first place spot by almost a minute, when she finished with a time of 20:26 for the 6k course.
It was a fitting way for Hackett to finish off the season, as she had been one of the most dominating runners all year. Hackett never failed to finish in the top-three of every race this season and came away as the individual winner in three of them, including first overall in the Southland Conference Championships. Hackett was named conference athlete of the week three times as well.
Junior Diana Garcia-Munoz came in fourth overall at the championships, finishing off her third cross season with the Wildcats. Rounding out the top-10 was twin sister to Allie, Michaela Hackett who finished seventh overall.
The women never finished lower than third this season, competing at the highly competitive meets at A&M and Arkansas. The Wildcats saw improvement across the board on both the men and women’s side, but the women were the ones who have had the most noticeable changes.
The men finished the season with improvements across the board. Senior, Daniel Block ended his distinguished collegiate career as the top runner for ACU and a 23rd overall finish at the championships. Block had been ACU’s top distance runner for the last two years. Sophomore Ryan Cleary will be expected to step up for the Wildcats next year, as he’s been the no. 2 runner for the team since he arrived last year.
The men’s team may not have finished as high in team standings like the women did this season, but they did move closer towards the goal of becoming conference champions. The men will only lose Block and the women are expected to return everyone on their current roster, so springtime may see another conference title when indoor track starts.
Regardless of what opponents they faced, the ACU cross-country team has proven that they are heading back to being one of the top distance programs in the conference.
“This proves that we are ready to take on the weight of the past,” assistant head coach, Ray Walker said, “and become, Lord willing, as successful as our previous championship caliber wildcats.”
Cross-country will transition over into indoor track with the rest of the track and field team members in the spring.