The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi cross country teams returned to action on Friday night as they hosted a pair of Southland Conference rivals in the Islander Relays at West Guth Park.
In the men's race, the Islander tandem of junior Ari Perez and freshman Jordan Valle finished first in 41:03 crossing the line 17 seconds ahead of UTSA's Layne Nixon and Albert Cardenas. A&M-Corpus Christi, which was competing without last year's top runner Scott Vance, did not have another team cross until Daniel Barlow and Eloy Zertuche stopped the clock in eighth with a time of 41:46. Patrick Kimeli and Kirk Dalheim followed in ninth in 41:59, while David Wells and Curtis Patton were tenth in 42:30.
"The guys, Ari and Jordan looked really good," said head coach Shawn Flanagan. "The rest of them have a lot of work to do, but it's a good start - we'll take it.
On the women's side, the top Islander duo placed fourth as BreAnna Briggs and Sarah De Los Santos stopped the clock in 27:06. A&M-Corpus Christi showed its depth on the women's side as three of the next four teams were blue and green. Sheila Salil and Shelby Nichols were fifth in 27:21. Caitlyn Arambula and Courtney Johnson followed in sixth with a mark of 27:46, while Daniela Prado and Faith Barlow were eighth (28:09). Meghan Lemke and Anne Ronoh did not finish.
"The girls aren't fit yet and we didn't look very good," said Flanagan. "We have a lot of training to do, but have time to get better and we'll get better.
"We showed some good depth, but, overall, we're not where we need to be relative to the competition of the conference. We'll get there."
The Islanders compete next weekend in their first individual race at Texas A&M. A&M-Corpus Christi returns to West Guth on Sept. 25 for the Islander Splash.