The Sam Houston State men’s and women’s cross country teams are coming off third place finishes at the annual Rice Invitational Cross Country Classic in Houston last Saturday. The men had five out of six runners that finished in the top 20. Isia Llanes placed fourth in the men’s race with a time of 19:35. The women had all five runners finish in the top 20. Sarah Hershman finished in eighth place for the Bearkat women with a time of 15:39. The Bearkats will travel to College Station for the annual Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday. The men start the 8,000 meter at 8:30 a.m. and the women will start the 6,000 meter at 9:00 a.m. The A&M Invitational will be the first big meet of the season for SHSU, and it will be a chance to see how the teams compare to a lot of the other schools in Texas. There are over 20 collegiate teams scheduled to compete in the Texas A&M Invitational, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is the defending women’s team champion, while Texas is the defending men’s champion. The Bearkats have already this season competed in the Texas A&M opener on Aug. 30. Both the men and women looked good at the meet that only featured SHSU and A&M. The men had three in the top ten with Eli Umanzor finishing with a time of 20:30 for fourth place. The women also had a strong showing with three in the top ten with Sarah Hershman finishing with a time of 19:05 for fifth place. The men and women will run their full squad at the A&M Invitational for the first time this year. SHSU distance coach Ciaran Doogan said, “We will be able to see what we are capable of.” Coach Doogan only let one of his top five men runners compete last week so his other guys could have the week off to make sure they are ready to run fast at the A&M Invitational. The A&M Invitational will be a good indicator of what we are going to be capable of doing at the Oklahoma State Invitational on October 4th where we are going to race against some of the top teams in the nation,” said coach Doogan.