BEAUMONT, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's and women's cross country teams clocked fourth-place finishes today at the Southland Conference Championships at Tyrrell Park, hosted by Lamar. The men's team all clocked individual personal-best times while BreAnna Briggs and Cecilia Jones earned a spot on the women's all-conference team. Senior Patrick Kimeli earned his third straight all-conference honor with a fourth-place finish.
"I was really happy with the men's team," Head Coach Shawn Flanagan said. "They ran their personal-best times and it was a fast course. Patrick ran really well and anytime you have eight out of eight guys run lifetime best that's pretty good."
Kimeli, the reigning Southland Conference two-time individual champion and two-time men's athlete of the year led the No. 7-regional ranked men's team with a fourth-place finish. The Eldoret, Kenya native clocked an 8k personal-best time of 24:10.6. Last season, Kimeli won with a time of 24:50.
The men's team all clocked personal-best times all in which were under 26 minutes. Sophomore Philipp Baar was the second Islander to cross the line with a time of 24:49.5 to finish in 14th place. Abel Koskey and Christoph Hintz finished back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd places. Koskey turned in a time of 25:16.0 in his debut Southland Conference Championship and Hintz clocked a time of 25:18.3. Next to finish for the men's team were seniors Daniel Barlow and Adrian Marquez who also finished back-to-back. Barlow finished in 29th with a time of 25:32.3 and Marquez placed 30th with a time of 25:38.1. Rounding out the Islanders was Paul Hansel and Jacob Abrego. Hansel crossed the line in 33rd place with a time of 25:47.9 and Abrego clocked a time of 25:53.6 to place 35th out of 73 runners.
"Fourth place wasn't what we were hoping for but if you look at their individual performances there's nothing to be ashamed of," Flanagan said. "We went out and competed. We will continue to work and improve."
The men's team finished behind McNeese State, who won the men's race with 25 points and snapped Lamar's string of six consecutive team titles. In second was Lamar (66 points) and ahead of the Islanders in third was Stephen F. Austin (80 points). The Islanders followed in fourth with 90 points and improved their fifth-place finish from 2010, the last time Lamar hosted. Central Arkansas rounded out the top five with 130 points and Sam Houston State (165 points), Oral Roberts (231 points), Northwestern State (240 points) and Southeastern La. (243 points) rounded out the teams.
The women's team was led by Briggs, who turned in a 6k personal-best time of 21:29.1 to place fourth and pace the Islanders to a fourth-place finish with 82 points. The Islanders won the last four out of five conference meets but was edged by Stephen F. Austin (56 points), Sam Houston State (58 points) and Lamar (80 points). The last time the Islanders finished outside of the top two was in 2006 when the women's team placed sixth. Finishing behind the Islanders in fifth place was Central Arkansas (120 points), McNeese State (148 points), Nicholls State (148 points), Oral Roberts (204 points), Northwestern State (206 points) and Southeastern La. (265 points).
"On the women's side, the top three girls, Bre, Cecy and Jasmine, ran great," Flanagan said. "Vanessa had an off day and Regina, Ashley and Alex all came together in the end which is a good sign as freshmen. They are learning how to race."
Finishing behind Briggs was Jones with a personal-best time of 21:29.1. The junior placed 10th just ahead of Jasmine Boutte who turned in a time of 22:06.00 to place 11th. Vanessa Galindo followed with a time of 23:01.6 to finish in 26th place ahead of the Islanders' three freshmen. Regina Salinas clocked a time of 23:15.0 to place 31st while Alexandra Fernandez finished in 36th place with a time of 23:29.8. Ashley Mills crossed the line with a time of 23:26.0 in 39th place and Kayla Fischer rounded out the women's team in 56th place with a time of 23:14.5.
"I'm real happy with what we can do in the future," Flanagan added. "It was nice that Bre went out as an all-conference performer."
Briggs along with Kimeli and Jones all earned all-conference honors for finishing in the top 10.
The Islanders will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the NCAA Regional on Fri., Nov. 9.
For the latest information, follow Islanders Cross Country on Twitter (@IslandersTFXC) and Facebook (Texas A&M Corpus Christi Track & Field/Cross Country).
2012 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships
Women's 6k Team Scores:
1. Stephen F. Austin 56
2. Sam Houston State 58
3. Lamar 80
4. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 82
5. Central Arkansas 120
6. McNeese State 148
7. Nicholls State 173
8. Oral Roberts 204
9. Northwestern St. 206
10. Southeastern La. 265
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Individual Results:
4. BreAnna Briggs 21:29.1
10. Cecilia Jones 22:06.00
11. Jasmine Boutte 22:08.4
26. Vanessa Galindo 23:01.6
31. Regina Salinas 23:15.0
36. Alexandra Fernandez 23.29.8
39. Ashley Mills 23:36.0
56. Kayla Fischer 23.14.5
Men's 8k Team Scores:
1. McNeese State 25
2. Lamar 66
3. Stephen F. Austin 80
4. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 90
5. Central Arkansas 130
6. Sam Houston State 165
7. Oral Roberts 231
8. Northwestern State 240
9. Southeastern La. 243
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Individual Results:
4. Patrick Kimeli 24:10.6
14. Philipp Baar 24:49.5
22. Abel Koskey 25:16.0
23. Christoph Hintz 25:18.3
29. Daniel Barlow 25:32.3
30. Adrian Marquez 25:38.1
33. Paul Hansel 25:47.9
35. Jacob Abrego 25:53.6