TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi cross country teams had a tough go of it at the NCAA Pre-Nationals, as they faced some of the toughest competition from around the nation.
Both teams ran in the blue race, in which every single team was ranked in the regional rankings.
"The top five men ran decent times and beat some good teams," head coach Shawn Flanagan said. "However, we didn't run as well as I thought we could have. Luckily we struggled this week and not two weeks from now in the Southland Conference Championships."
The men were led by Philipp Baar, who crossed the finish line just a few seconds off of his career best in the 8k, as he finished in 155th out of 359 competitors with a time of 24:58.5. Also finishing in the top 225 were seniors Jason Garcia (25:15.2) and Justin Adame (25:18.4) who came in at 212 and 225, respectively.
Freshmen Cesar Gonzalez and Edgar Martinez each finished in less than 26 minutes in the 8k for the first time in their careers, with Gonzalez crossing the line in a time of 25:44.9 and Martinez with a 25:50.6. Rounding out the men's times were Christoph Hintz with a 26:26.6 and Paul Hansel who finished in 27:38.7.
As a team the men finished ahead of some very formidable competition, beating out Southland foe McNeese State, who was ranked ahead of the Islanders in the regional rankings, as well as Baylor, Cincinnati and Memphis.
It was the women's first time to run a 6k in competition this season, as Cecilia Jones was the top finisher for the Islanders with a time of 22:45.1. Brandie Garcia also cracked the 23-minute mark, as she finished with a time of 22:59.3.
The rest of the Islanders crossed the finish line within the next minute, as Regina Salinas (23:12.5), Lara Huelsebusch (23:15.6), Jasmine Boutte (23:16.5), Vanessa Galindo (23:22.5) and Ann-Kathrin Ott (23:53.8) all finished in the 24th minute of the competition.
The teams will now set their focus to the Southland Conference Championships, which will take place in Lake Charles, La., on Friday, Nov. 1.
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