For the first time in 12 years, Sam Houston State University hosted the 2015 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships at the Country Campus Golf Course on Friday.
During Friday’s race, the men’s team was led by Jeffrey Moore as they accumulated 198 points, securing seventh place in the 8,000-meter run.
“Despite the outcome of Friday’s race, I do feel like we’ve seen a tremendous improvement in the group’s physical abilities and fitness levels which will serve us well as we progress into the track season,” Head Coach Jesse Parker said.
Seventh place was not where the team wanted to be.
“We had a terrible day,” Parker said. “We had a great opportunity to perform well on our home turf and we didn’t execute very well.”
Out of 93 runners, Moore took 24th with a time of 26:03.8, his best of the season.
Junior Evan Arambula secured 37th place with a mark of 26:20.7 followed by Grant Buley who finished with a time of 26:24.6 taking 39th.
The men have had an impressive season with the team and individual players earning top scores in numerous races.
As a team, the men had secured first place at both the SLC Preview with a score of 32 and the Islander Splash with 36 points.
During the SLC Preview, Chris Speaks finished first in the four-mile race with a time of 19:52.5 while Colton Stoker secured first in the Islander Splash completing the race in 24:10.
Also, during the three mile HBU Opener, Moore led the team with a time of 15:50.68 landing him second place.
During last season’s SLC Cross Country Championship, the men’s team was led by Stoker as they earned 148 points securing sixth place.
The women’s team completed the championship race with a score of 194 securing eighth place.
The 6,000-meter run was led by Olivia Olguin who finished the race in 22:56.3 and took 25th out of 84.
Nicole Aponte finished the race in 32nd with a time of 23:17.4 while Hannah Tarrant crossed the finish line at 23:21.0 earning 37th place.
Much like the men’s team, the women’s team had an impressive season as well taking top positions as a team and individuals.
During the 5k Islander Splash, the team earned a score of 37 securing the Bearkats in first place.
The team also took second place in the HBU Cross Country Opener and the Sam Houston State SLC Preview.
Aponte came in first during the Islander Splash with a time of 6:04 while Olguin finished the race in 6:06 taking second.
Also during the HBU Opener, Aponte finished the two-mile run with a time of 12.00 landing her in second place.
During last season’s SLC Cross Country Championship, the women’s team was led by Ana Moreno as the team earned 106 points, securing third place.
“We’ve got a long way to go from a mental toughness standpoint if we’re going to bring it back together for the NCAA Regional meet,” Parker said. “I don’t know if we’ll be ready by then.”
Both the men and women cross country teams will travel to College Station next Friday to compete against teams such as Baylor, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M at the NCAA South Central Regional race.