Graphic by Emma Reeves

The men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to action on Saturday morning, competing in the Conference USA Championships hosted by Western Kentucky University.

Leading the men’s team, freshman Harrison Wade placed 15th with a time of 24:43.6. Behind Wade was senior Martin Luevano, who finished 46th place with a time of 26:12.9. Just seconds behind Luevano was sophomore Jake Smith, who earned 53rd place with a time of 26:26.9. Senior Josh Rodriguez (57th, 26:38.8), senior Pedro Sepulveda (59th, 26:38.8), junior Mathew David (70th, 27:41.3) and junior Zack Kovar (72nd, 27:51.0) finished out strong for the Roadrunners.

The men finished 8th place overall in the tournament. Tying rival Western Kentucky with a 118 point score, the ‘Runners fell short when Hilltopper, Jacob Steppe, bested David and placed just four above David in the 8-kilometer race. The ‘Runners competed with determination and vigor, barely losing to Western Kentucky. Middle Tennessee State University was victorious, with a score of 31 points.

Meanwhile, competing in the 5,000 meters, junior Amber Boyd was the first across the finish line for the women’s team, and placed 47th with an 18:55.0 run. Just behind her was fellow teammate sophomore Briana Gonzalez, who finished 48th with an 18:59.0 time. She was followed by senior Gabby Gonzales (67th place, 19:26.2), sophomore Marissa Martinez (75th place, 19:46.6), senior Colleen Gilbert (77th place, 19:54.6) and senior Sarah Estrada (80th place, 19:57.2). Finishing up the scoring for the ‘Runners was sophomore Abby Balli, who finished in 91st place with a time of 20:34.7.

The women compiled 297 points, placing 11th overall and finishing behind Florida International University.

Next, the ‘Runners will compete in the NCAA South Central Regional hosted by Arkansas on Nov. 15 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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