Men 20th, women 30th in the final cross country race before conference


Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

In the final preparation before the conference meet, the UTSA cross country team traveled back to the Dale Watts Cross Country Course to participate in the Arturo Barrios Invitational. The men’s team managed to secure 20th in the 40-team field, while the women’s team achieved 30th in the 38-team field. 

The men’s 8000-meter race began at 9 a.m., and the ‘Runners stormed off the starting line to fight for position. UTSA stayed consistent throughout the race and came 20th as a team through the 2000-meter mark. Colton Stunkard came through in 59th at the split, with the next Roadrunner being Idol Ramon at 144th. There was a pack of UTSA runners led by Ramon, coming in at 6:08 at 2000 meters with Jake Smith one second behind and Michael Herrera and Caden Cunningham two seconds behind at 6:10. 

The Roadrunners came through the 5600-meter split 21st as a team, settling in at their placement. Stunkard crept up to 42nd through the split and Spencer Herbstritt made moves for the ‘Runners, climbing up to 124th. In the last split before the finish, UTSA was 23rd overall with just 600 meters to go. The Roadrunners jumped back to 20th place with Stankard leading the way, finishing 36th overall with a time of 24:38.0. 

Smith finished second for UTSA with a time of 24:56.5, which placed him 63rd overall. The third runner from UTSA to finish was Cunningham, who placed 137th with a time of 25:44.0. Herbstritt fell to 164th overall, finishing with a time of 25:55.4 in just his second meet as a ‘Runner. Ramon also slid in the overall placement, finishing 186th with a time of 26:15.8 and not far behind was Landon Blankenship with a time of 26:20.2 at 193rd place. Herrera finished 222nd with a time of 26:37.6, and Gabe Hernandez crossed the finish line at 26:47.3 in 234th place. OJ Ruiz and Michael Paredes were the final Roadrunners to finish, coming in 257th place and 27:10.0 for Ruiz and Paredes at 264th with a time of 27:14.8. 

The women’s team began their 6000-meter race at 9:45 a.m., and much like the men’s race, they stayed consistent as they went through 2000 meters in 31st place. Chante Dixon came through in 131st place at the split, and Abbygaill Balli was in 148th. The ‘Runners fell to 32nd place as a team through the 4100-meter split, with Balli taking the lead for UTSA and sliding to 124th overall. Luzaan de Wit was third for the Roadrunners at the split and sat at 178th overall. Savannah Lopez was fourth for the ‘Runners, sitting at 195th place. 

Over the last 1900 meters, UTSA jumped two spots to finish 30th overall. Balli jumped to 101st overall, earning herself a time of 22:33.2. Dixon came in 143rd place, clocking a time of 23:19.0, and de Wilt came through at 23:49.8, landing her 170th overall. Lopez came through in 186th place with a time of 24:19.0. Brooke Veltman was the fifth runner for UTSA, crossing in 201st place and finishing with a time of 24:40.9. Lilly Morill was the final member of the Roadrunner team, crossing the line with a time of 25:42.4, placing her in 223rd. 

Texas A&M won the men’s team title with a score of 71 points. The Aggies team average was 24:03, while UTSA’s was 25:29. Ohio State won the women’s team title with a score of 38 points. The Buckeyes had a team average of 20:32, while UTSA’s was 23:44.

UTSA will now have two weeks to prepare for the Conference USA meet. The conference championship will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Denton, Texas.