CORPUS CHRISTI – Following two strong second-place finishes at the 36th Annual Justin F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitational, the men's cross country team moved up four spots to sixth in the NCAA South Central poll. The women's team maintained its spot in first place in the Southland at the No. 7 slot.
"The improvements in both the men's and women's regional rankings shows the improvements we made at the Rice meet," head coach Shawn Flanagan said. "It is very encouraging and a spur for us to work harder."
The men's team finished in the runner-up spot in front of three higher ranked teams at the Invitational, including host No. 8 Rice (3) along with Southland foes No. 7 Stephen F. Austin (4) and No. 6 McNeese State (6). With the strong finish, the men moved up four spots, behind No. 4 Lamar and No. 5 UTSA in the Southland. The Islanders sit ahead of Stephen F. Austin who dropped one spot to No. 8 and McNeese State fell seven spots to No. 13.
The women's team stayed strong, holding the top spot in the Southland in the South Central Region at No. 7. The Islanders sit behind Rice, who slid down two spots to sixth after clinching the women's 4k race on Friday. Stephen F. Austin dropped one spot to No. 9, while UTSA moved up two spots to No. 10. After finishing behind the Islanders at the Rice Invitational, Lamar fell one spot to No. 12, while McNeese State's fourth-place finish solidified their 13th spot. Texas State rounds out the Southland with a No. 14 regional ranking.
The Islanders will return home to host the Islander Splash on Fri., Sept. 23, at West Guth Park. The women's 5k will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the men's 8k at 6:25 p.m.
For the latest information, follow Islanders Cross Country on Twitter (@IslandersTFXC) and Facebook (Texas A&M Corpus Christi Track & Field/Cross Country).
Women's USTFCCCA South Central Regional Rankings:
1.Texas, 2. Arkansas, 3. Baylor, 4. Texas A&M, 5. SMU, 6. Rice, 7. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, 8. TCU, 9. Stephen F. Austin, 10. UTSA, 11. Houston, 12. Lamar, 13. McNeese State, 14. Texas State, 15. Arkansas State
Men's USTFCCCA South Central Regional Rankings:
1. Arkansas, 2. Texas, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Lamar, 5. UTSA, 6. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, 7. Rice, 8. Stephen F. Austin, 9. Baylor, 10. Ark. - Little Rock, 11. UTPA, 12. Houston Baptist, 13. McNeese State, 14. Houston, 15. LSU