Cross country ends season at NCAA South Central Regional meet

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

After having the best conference finish in a decade, the men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to the Dale Watts Cross Country Course and competed in the NCAA South Central Regional meet on Friday morning. The course is a familiar one to the Roadrunners, having run five meets at the course in the last two seasons. 

Colton Stunkard led the men to a 13th-place finish out of the 27 teams. Stunkard finished in 33rd place on the 10,000-meter course with a time of 31:50.5. This was the fifth meet of the season where Stunkard finished first for UTSA.

Senior Jake Smith was the second finisher for the Roadrunners, crossing the line at 32:11.2. Just over two 20 seconds behind Stunkard, Smith finished in 43rd place. Idol Ramon was third for the Roadrunners, coming in 87th place with a time of 33:36.0. Ramon was the only male runner for UTSA to run the regional meet in back-to-back seasons as he was the top finisher for the ‘Runners a year ago.

Seniors Harrison Wade (34:11.4) and Spencer Herbstritt (34:14.0) finished 115th and 116th. Landon Blakenship finished the course with a time of 34:19.5, closely behind the two seniors, which landed him 121st. Gabe Hernandez was the final competitor for the men, finishing 136th with a time of 35:01.4. 

The men combined to finish 13th overall with 394 points, just 20 behind Abilene Christian. UTSA was one point ahead of UT-Arlington, who was ranked eighth in the regional coming into the meet. Power Five schools, such as TCU (17th) and LSU (23rd), finished behind the Roadrunners. Arkansas won the meet with 49 points, while Texas finished second with 55 points. 

Abbygail Balli led the women to 18th place out of 27 teams. Balli came through the 2900-meter split in 105th place, and teammate Madi Henry was 106th. The two picked up the pace in the second half of the race, with Balli finishing 72nd overall with a 22:16.8 through 6,000-meters and Henry finishing 90th with a 22:40.0. 

Luzaan de Wilt was the third finisher for UTSA crossing the line at 23:01.8 in 104th place. Brooke Veltman (23:27.4) and Chante Dixon (23:30.5) finished 126th and 128th. Freshman Savannah Lopez was the sixth runner for UTSA, coming in 144th place with a 23:48.1. Lily Morrill rounded up the women’s lineup finishing the course in 24:38.2, landing her 159th place. 

Arkansas won the women’s side with 49 points, claiming both titles in the South Central Region. Texas also claimed second in the women’s race with 102 points.