WACO – Texas A&M opened its cross country season with a pair of fourth place team finishes at the Baylor Bear Twilight Invite on Friday evening.
The Aggie women scored 142 points to place behind Baylor (25), SMU (30) and Texas (84) as A&M bettered North Texas (156), Houston (175), Texas State (176) and TCU (216).
A team score of 109 points placed the Aggie men behind North Texas (37), Texas (48) and Baylor (70) while A&M bettered Houston (114), TCU (156) and Texas State (171).
“It was a good rust buster for some of our kids and for us to see some new faces,” noted Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. “There was a mix of newcomers as well as some who have not raced in cross country for a while.
“Overall, we had positive insights into where we are right now. We’ll get a better idea in a couple of weeks when we line up our full squad at Rice.”
Micah Dettmer and Austin Geerts led the Aggie men by placing in the top 15 among the field of 65 finishers. Dettmer covered the 6,000-meter course in 19:18.5 while Geerts crossed the finish line in 19:21.6. The next three A&M finishers were spaced out a bit as Jake Roberts ran 19:29.6 for 22nd place as Aaron Murray finished 28th in 19:44.9 with Bobby Zeller 37th at 19:56.6.
“I was really pleased with Dettmer, Geerts and Roberts,” said McRaven. “All three battled back from some adversity over the past couple of years.”
Leading the Aggie women were Lauren Fontana and Ashley Chamberlain as they placed 28th and 33rd among 89 finishers. Fontana ran 14:59.9 over a 4,000-meter course as Chamberlain finished in 15:02.7. A close pack followed with Johanna Galloway in 34th with a 15:03.4, Katie Willard 39th in 15:06.7, Meredith Gleitz placing 42nd with a 15:06.7 and Heather Sterling 44th clocking 15:14.3.
“It was nice to see Fontana run like that after she had surgery in her senior year of high school and didn’t run in her first season at A&M,” McRaven said. “It’s also nice to see Chamberlain turn in that kind of performance in her first ever cross country race.”
The rest of the men’s group included Dillon Worley (40th, 20:02.3), Colin Stoeber (44th, 20:07.3), Cameron Thornton (54th, 20:42.5), and Dylan Williams (58th, 21:06.3).
Another crew of Aggie women placed 51st, 52nd, 55th and 57th with Katie Pia (15:21.2), Haley Deakins (15:22.8), Caitlin Gilmore (15:30.3) and Rachel Williams (15:30.9). Also running for A&M were Emily Willingham (62nd, 15:38.6) and Sara Shaw (70th, 16:04.0).
Baylor Bear Twilight Invite
Waco, Texas – Aug. 30, 2013
Team results: 1. North Texas 37, 2. Texas 48, 3. Baylor 70, 4. Texas A&M 109, 5. Houston 114, 6. TCU 156, 7. Texas State 171.
Team results: 1. Baylor 25, 2. SMU 30, 3. Texas 84, 4. Texas A&M 142, 5. North Texas 156, 6. Houston 175, 7. Texas State 176, 8. TCU 216.