Sweat, pain and large amounts of effort were poured into this years’ cross country season, all leading in preparation of the Southerland Conference Championships.
The Sam Houston State men’s and women’s cross country competed in the SLC on Monday in Natchitoches, La. for a chance to call themselves champions.
However, Lamar would claim the honors for the second straight year on both the men’s and women’s side of the meet.
The Bearkat women competed in the 6000-meter race held at the Northwestern State Golf Course. The SHSU women finished third as a team, which marks only the fourth time the Bearkats have placed among the league’s top three cross country squads.
Senior Anna Moreno was the first Bearkat to cross the finish line and placed ninth individually with clocked a time of 21:13. Sophomore Olivia Olguin followed after Moreno and finished in 11th place with a time of 21:27. Junior Nicole Aponte finished 23rd with a time of 22:03. Sophomore Miranda Prado came close to Aponte in 29th place, clocking a time of 22:20.
Freshmen Nina Gonzales and Briana McCall were the last Bearkats to finish. Gonzales finished 34th with a 22:53 time, and McCall finished in 61st with a time of 24:05.
Lamar had runners sweep first, second and third to score a total of 20 points. SHSU’s rival Stephen F. Austin State was the runner-up with 50 points, and SHSU finished third with 106 points.
Only twice in SHSU’s 27 years in the SLC has a Bearkat women’s team finished higher than the 2014 team. The Kats were runners-up in 2000 and 2012, and the only other Bearkat team to finish third was the 1991 team.
“I think the SLC meet went really well,” Olguin said. “Sure we didn’t get the place we wanted overall, but we each ran with all we had and that’s all that matters. Individually, we came through and ran an excellent race.”
The SHSU men’s cross country team raced in an 8000-meter race and finished sixth overall in the SLC championships.
Senior Karl Schreiber paced the Bearkats and finished 15th boasting a time of 24:50. Senior Ryan Saam finished in 26th place with a time of 25:10. Freshman Colton Stroker finished with a clocked time of 25:12, which placed him 27th.
Senior Patrick Pitts came in 38th place with a total time of 25:32, and sophomore Evan Arambula placed forty-second with a time of 25:37.
Freshman Grant Burley crossed the finish line in 44th place with a time of 25:44. Senior Logan Terry was the next Kat to finish ending the race in 48th place, clocking a time of 25:56. Senior J.T. Bounds was the last Bearkat to finish, crossing the line in 70th place with a time of 27:30.
Lamar captured the title with 26 points followed by runner-up SFA with 48 points. SHSU finished with 148 points, which placed them sixth overall out of the 13 conference teams.
“It was a very fast race and everyone on the team had their fastest race of the season,” Arambula said. “However, we didn’t quite achieve the team goal we set. We were close, but the teams ahead of us definitely brought their A game and edged us out to sixth place.”
Both the men and women Bearkat cross country teams will race in their next meet Nov. 14 in the South Central Regional Race. The meet will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas and will determine who from the region will advance to the national championship race.