Islanders women finish as runner-up, men fifth as Kimeli top overall finisher at Southland Championships

BEAUMONT, Texas - Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's cross country team just missed out on being the first school to win four straight Southland Conference titles, coming in as runners-up at the Southland Conference Championships. The Islanders men's team finished in fifth place, but had the top individual finisher in Patrick Kimeli with a time of 24:47.0.

A&M - Corpus Christi finished runner-up to Stephen F. Austin, the team they edged out last year at the conference championships at West Guth Park. Julia Sambu received all-conference honors after finishing in the top 10 with a fourth-place finish with a time of 21:43.1.

The women's team had three others in the top 20 of the race, with Sarah Kimaiyo finishing 12th in a time of 22:07.1 while Kristine Torres was just behind her in 16th at 22:26.5.

Courtney Johnson came in 19th after posting a time of22:36.5, Caitlin Arambula was 27th at 22:52.2 and BreAnna Briggs clocked in at 22:57.1 good for 29th.

Rounding out the line-up was Danielle Higgins at 23:10.8 at 31st and Sheila Salil came in 54th with a time of 23:58.3.

"We went out really well but we just couldn't keep it together when SFA came at us," said head coach Shawn Flanagan "I'm happy that we gave ourselves a chance, but now we've got 16 days to recoup before regionals."

Kimeli became the fourth member of the Islanders program to win the individual crown, joining Shadrack Songok who won twice and last year's top individual women's finisher Anne Ronoh. He also earns all-conference honors with the finish.

"Patrick ran an excellent race today and really put the hammer down," said Flanagan "It was great to see that kind of performance from him."

Ari Perez came in 27th with a time of 26:30.0 and Justin Adame was 34th at 26:51.4. Eloy Zertuche ran a time of 27:07.6, good for 40th, while Jason Garcia finished right behind him in 41st at 27:12.0.

Daniel Barlow was 47th with a time of 27:36.2 and Adrian Marquez came in 65th with at 28:32.3.

"We'll be alright, it's all part of a process," said Flanagan, "But we've got the next 16 days to continue to improve before regionals."

Next up for the Islanders will be the NCAA South Central Regionals on Nov. 13 in Waco.

Women's Individual Results: 4. Julia Sambu 21:43.1, 12. Sarah Kimaiyo 22:07.1, 16. Kristine Torres 22:26.5, 19. Courtney Johnson 22:36.5, 27. Caitlin Arambula 22:52.2, 29. BreAnna Briggs 22:57.1, 31. Danielle Higgins 23:10.8, 54. Sheila Salil 23:58.3

Women's Team Results: 1. Stephen F. Austin 34, 2. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 78, 3. McNeese State 116, 4. UT Arlington 137, 5. UTSA 139, 6. Nicholls State 155, 7. Lamar 158, 8. Texas State 170, 9. Central Arkansas 218, 10. Southeastern Louisiana 254, 11. Sam Houston State 265, 12. Northwestern State 332

Men's Individual Results: 1. Patrick Kimeli 24:47.0, 27. Ari Perez 26:30.0, 34. Justine Adame 26:51.4, 40. Eloy Zertuche 27:07.6, 41. Jason Garcia 27:12.0, 47. Daniel Barlow 27:36.2, 65. Adrian Marquez 28:32.3

Men's Team Results: 1. Lamar 38, 2. McNeese State 70, 3. UTSA 77, 4. Stephen F. Austin 114, 5. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 134, 6. Texas State 155, 7. UT Arlington 201, 8. Southeastern Louisiana 213, 9. Central Arkansas 234, 10. Sam Houston State 298, 11. Northwestern State 304, 12. Nicholls State 378