EDINBURG, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's and women's cross country squads had a strong performance this evening in their first race of the 2011 season at the Rio Grande Valley Classic. The Islanders' men's team sealed the top four spots, while the women claimed four-of-five against the University of Texas-Pan American at the Monte Cristo Golf Course.
"We ran very well tonight and overall it was a good day," said head coach Shawn Flanagan. "We trained hard this week, and we didn't let up. I was pleased with the results. They ran decent times and it gave the freshmen a good introduction. We did what we needed to do."
Junior Patrick Kimeli led the way for the second-straight year with freshman Angel Banda on the men's side to claim the top spot with a time of 37:36. The freshman-senior pair of Paul Hansel and Jeremy Juarez teamed up to take second place in 37:53. Freshman Brandon Lacy and sophomore Justin Adame finished in third place in 38:16 and rounding out fourth place for the Islanders with a time of 38:23 was junior Jacob Abrego and sophomore Jason Garcia. UTPA notched the fifth slot in 38:31, while freshmen Phillipp Baar and Christoph Hintz crossed the line in sixth place in 38:52.
The women's team had a strong outing, with top seniors Julia Sambu and Kristine Burciaga finishing first in 44:02. Like Kimeli, Sambu also took the top spot last season. Behind the senior duo was UTPA with a time of 44:13 to finish in second. The next three spots went to the Islanders. Senior Sarah Kimaiyo and junior Shelby Nichols finished in third place in 45:40 and the team of junior Melissa Jones and freshman Vanessa Galindo came in fourth in 46:08. Finishing out the field for the Islanders in their first college race were freshmen Shelby Polasek and Jasmine Boutte in 48:07 to seal the fifth spot.
"We will find out a little bit more in two weeks at Rice," Flanagan added. "It was a very successful start."
The Islanders will next be in action on Fri., Sept. 16, in Houston, Texas, at the Rice Invite.
For the latest information, follow Islanders Cross Country on Twitter (@IslandersTFXC) and Facebook (Texas A&M Corpus Christi Track & Field/Cross Country).
1. Patrick Kimeli/Angel Banda 37:36
2. Paul Hansel/Jeremy Juarez 37:53
3. Brandon Lacy/Justin Adame 38:16
4. Jacob Abrego/Jason Garcia 38:23
5. UTPA 38:31
6. Phillipp Baar/Christoph Hintz 38:52
7. UTPA 39:01
8. UTPA 39:03
1. Julia Sambu/Kristine Burciaga 44:02
2. UTPA 44:13
3. Sarah Kimaiyo/Shelby Nichols 45:40
4. Melissa Jones/Vanessa Galindo 46:08
5. Shelby Polasek/Jasmine Boutte 48:07
6. UNAT 49:00
7. UTPA 49:32
8. UTPA 50:38
9. UNAT 53:12
10. UTPA 53:21
11. UTPA 55:16
12. UTPA 1:00.06