September 26, 2008

ISLANDERS MEN AND WOMEN DOMINANT IN WINNING SPLASH

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's and women's cross country teams thrilled the home fans at West Guth Park Friday evening with impressive showings to sweep the field at the New Balance Islander Splash.

"It was an outstanding evening for both teams," said Islander head coach Shawn Flanagan. "It could not have gone much better than it did."

Led by sophomore Scott Vance, who won his first race as an individual at TAMUCC, the Islanders ran away with the men's title taking the top four spots on the 5-mile course and placing all five runners in the top five. Vance won with a time of 25:07 which was 13 seconds faster than Ari Perez's mark of 25:20. Placing third was Kirk Dalheim in 25:27 and Erik Burciaga fourth in 25:31. Edward Kemei was the fifth Islander in the top 10 placing ninth with a time of 25:49.

"Several guys had breakthrough races," said the coach. "Scott Vance was tremendous, while Ari, Erik, Kirk and Edward really upped their performances."

The men finished with 19 points which was 31 ahead of Texas-Pan American's 50. UTSA was third with 80, Monterrey Tech fourth with 99 and Central Arkansas was fifth (121). A&M-Kingsville was sixth with 176 points.

The women were nearly as dominant as the men as they placed their five scoring runners in the top 10 among all runners and in the top seven amongst attached runners. Anne Ronoh led the Islanders with a second-place finish in 17:24 finishing behind individual medalist Dana Mecke of UTSA for the second week. Mecke finished in 17:09.

Sheila Salil was sixth in 18:14, with Sarah De Los Santos eighth (18:23), Courtney Johnson ninth (18:23), and Caitlin Arambula tenth (18:24). Cynthia Santaella was 13th overall (18:40) but did not score.

"The women almost as dominant as the men," said the coach. "I am really pleased with the times of Sarah, Courtney and Caitlin. Anne had another solid race "

As a team, the Islanders finished with 24 points. UTSA was a distant second with 72 followed by Texas-Pan American in third with 80, and UCA in fourth with 102. Monterrey Tech was fifth with 106 points followed by St. Mary's (134) and A&M-Kingsville (155).

The team heads to Seguin for the Texas Lutheran Invitational next Saturday.