Men and women’s cross country place fifth in Texas A&M Invitational

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

Two weeks after the season opener at the UIW Twilight Invitational, the UTSA Roadrunners traveled to College Station for the Texas A&M Invitational on Sept. 16. This will be the first of two meets in College Station, at a familiar course for the Roadrunners.  

The men’s 8000-meter race began at 8:00 a.m., and the nine-team field came out hard. At the 2000-meter split, UTSA was in sixth place with Harrison Wade and Sam Houston transfer Colton Stunkard at the front of the pack. Over the next 10 minutes, the ‘Runners jumped to third overall place at the 5670-meter split, with Jake Smith and Tabor College transfer Cade Cunningham joining Wade and Stunkard. After seven Aggies placed in the top 10, the Roadrunners started to trickle in. Stunkard was first for UTSA and 20th overall, with a time of 25:14.6. Smith closed hard with a time of 25:24.1, earning 26th overall. Cunningham followed closely behind, finishing 29th overall with a 25:29.6, and Wade at 32nd overall place with a 25:38.4. JD Corona was the fifth man for the ‘Runners, finishing 44th overall with a time of 26:14.6.  

Michael Paredes and Landon Blankenship were the sixth and seventh men for UTSA, with 26:43.5 and 26:46.4, respectively. Gabe Hernandez finished 56th with a 26:54.7 and Dominick Landin finished 72nd with a 27:43.9. UTSA finished fifth with a team-average time of 25:36, 13 seconds better than last season’s time on this course.  

The women’s 5000-meter race followed the men’s at 8:45 a.m., this time with a 10-team field. The ladies went through their 2000-meter split fifth place as a team, led by Abbygail Balli at 37th place and UIW transfer Madison Henry and Chante Dixon at 42nd and 43rd, respectively. The Roadrunners maintained their team’s fifth place position for the last 3000-meters. Henry was first for the ‘Runners and moved up to 28th overall place with a time of 19:15.1. Balli crept up to 33rd place with a 19:26.1, and Dixon finished 44th with a 19:51.5. Brooke Veltman was the fourth runner for UTSA, finishing 51st overall with a 20:07.4. Savannah Lopez was the only freshman for UTSA, who also finished in the fifth position for the Roadrunners in 66th place with a time of 20:48.0.  

Lily Morill and Sydney Bravo filled the sixth and seventh spots for UTSA. Morill finished 71st with a 5k time of 20:55.8 with Bravo closely behind in 74th place with a time of 21:04.1. The ladies’ team average was 19:53. 

The next race will be at the UIW Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1. UTSA will return to the Dale Watts Cross Country Course on Oct. 15.