The Javelina Cross Country team had a great turnout this past weekend on Oct. 11, competing at the Ninth Annual University of the Incarnate Word Invitational hosted by the Cardinals at Live Oak City Park who used to be in the Lone Star Conference with the Javelinas but now are part of the Southland Conference as a Division I program.
The men’s cross country team was able to place second amongst the non-Division I teams who were highly competitive throughout the entire race while the women were able to finish in eighth place.
The men’s team earned a total of 76 points to follow right behind Tarleton State University who recorded 51 points to take first place in the non-Division I competition. Junior standout Emanuel Ibanez has been improving tremendously since last season and continues to improve as they get closer to the LSC meet as well as senior runner Jorge Alanis finishing the eight-kilometer course with a ninth and tenth finish respectively, with times of 26:07.05 and 26:07.05.
“The men started out strong, positioned really well, and where Frank Solis always does a great job is getting out early and the guys did really good following him. About a mile into the race they were able to see Tarleton State and where they were positioned throughout the race, but they did their part to not lose any sight of them and try to hold on,” Wunderlich said.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was the Division I champion with a total of 34 points. Freshman runner Francisco Solis placed 13th with a time of 26:21.8 while 800m standout Michal Idziak was able to finish in the top 20 for the Javelinas finishing in 18th place with a time of 26:41.7. Sophomore Damian Feeney was the fifth finisher for the Hogs, placing 26th.
“The men pushed through the middle of the race which I have not seen them do before but they never lightened up, continued to fight through the middle of the course and they did a great job finishing very well and it has been the best performance I have ever seen out of this program and I think coach Ryan Dall agrees as well when I say this,” Wunderlich said.
On the women’s side it was a tough race as it started to rain hard past the first mile but they were able to work together and finish the race. Amy Mendoza finished 29th overall clocking at 26:02.3, while Chelsea Williams placed 32nd with a time just under 26:30, followed by Chelsea Gonzalez’s 46th place finish to help the Javelinas as much as possible.
“It was two very different races. The men encountered near perfect conditions, the course was patted down, good footing for them, but for the women it started to downpour within a mile into the race so they had to deal with sloppy conditions for the duration of the race,” said Cross Country Coach Adriane Wunderlich.
Wunderlich said she is optimistic that the women’s team can perform better for next time.
“I believe if the women can stay together throughout the entire race and not get separated too early, we can score, place in the top, start seeing results and see much improvement from the women who I know can do great things. We just have to wait and see if they will be able to pull it together come Conference,” Wunderlich said.
The Javelinas have this week off as they get set to hit the road next week to run at the Angelo State University Blue and Gold Classic for their last tune-up for the season before preparing for the 2014 Lone Star Conference Cross Country Championship Meet which will be at Wichita Falls, hosted by Midwestern State University on November 8.