Cross country teams run into success in recent meets

On Saturday, Oct. 11, both the men’s and women’s cross -country teams competed in the University of Incarnate Word Invitational. The women’s team placed second out of 13 non-D-I teams and the men’s team placed fourth among 14 non-D-I teams.

“It was a big meet; UIW hosted it and there were a lot of schools from a lot of places. It was really rainy and muddy, but everybody finished. It was hard (for the women) to PR, though, because of the crazy weather conditions,” said sophomore Julia Torres.

After this race, senior Nicola Hill and junior Taylor Piske won SCAC Cross Country men’s and women’s Runner of the Week respectively. Hill ran the 6K race with a time of 24:07.3 for a sixth place finish among non-D-I runners and an 18th place finish overall. Piske came in fourth among non-D-I runners and ninth overall on the 8K course with a time of 25:06.7 minutes.

“The guys did awesome; it was a big meet for them. Luckily the weather turned perfect for their race, and they really got after it. The women’s race I felt really bad about, because two minutes into the race it started pouring down rain and the course, when you added downpour, was a complete mud-fest. They all still competed, though, and never gave up or decided to quit…so they performed really well,” said head coach Emily Daum.

The Tigers then competed in the Concordia Texas Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 18, where the women’s team finished second and the men’s team won. The race distance was 5K for both teams. The men won with 19 points and the women were runners-up with 32 points.

Several other SCAC teams competed, including TLU, Southwestern and Schreiner.

Several Tigers ran fast races to finish in the top 10.

On the men’s team, Piske came in second, Michael Erickson finished third, sophomore Austin Brown got fourth place, Daniel Henkes finished in seventh, junior Chris Soto in eighth, and Jacob Hammond in tenth. For the women’s team ,senior Michelle Oberndorf was the top finisher as she clinched fourth place. Behind her, first year Melissa Whitman finished fifth, Hill in seventh and Emma MacEachern in eighth.

“Our meet this past weekend was really good, it was a meet that was really similar to what conference is usually like. We got to race a lot of teams in our conference, so it was good experience for all the new guys. We all did really well, which was good. We are hoping to do well and win conference,” Soto said.

The Tigers have a two-week break until the SCAC Championships in Boerne, Texas, on Saturday, Nov. 1. The men will run an 8K and the women will run a 6K.

“We are hoping to do well and win conference,” Torres said.

Soto adds, “We want to reclaim our title. We have won the past two years— last year we won by one point and this year it should be even closer.”

After conference the Tigers will run in regionals on Nov. 15 in Berry, Georgia.