Cross Country Finishes 4th at Big 12 Championships
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Highlighted by two runners finishing in the top 20, the West Virginia University cross country team took fourth place at its first Big 12 Championships, Saturday morning, at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course, in Austin, Texas.
The Mountaineers finished with 115 points for fourth out of 10 teams, while defending champion and No. 2 Iowa State won the event with 34 points, after having all five scoring runners finish in the top 15. No. 27 Oklahoma State finished in second with 81 points, while No. 14 Texas finished third with 87 points. TCU (153), Kansas State (168), Kansas (173), Baylor (183), Oklahoma (229) and Texas Tech (262) rounded out the rest of the field.
“I am very pleased with today’s result,” coach Sean Cleary says. “It is very clear that we are coming home with the highest place that we possibly could have achieved. This team maximized there potential and for that, I am very proud.”
In her first race this season, senior Sarah-Anne Brault received All-Big 12 honors after crossing the finish line in 10th place, with a 6k time of 20:52.8. Freshman Kelly Williams was the next runner to finish for WVU, with a personal best 6k time of 21:27.9, for a 19th place finish and her second top 20 finish this season.
“It was nice to have Sarah-Anne (Brault) with us today,” Cleary says. “This was her first race for WVU in 11 months and she returns to Morgantown with All-Big 12 honors. She should only be better over the next few weeks.
“Kelly Williams had a breakout race. This should serve as a huge confidence boost for the team. She has been training beside most of the group and this is a benchmark of where their own shape is right now in the season.”
In their first time running the course, the next five runners to finish for the Mountaineers also recorded personal best times for the season. Freshman Sydney Scott was the third scoring runner for WVU with a 26th place finish and a 6k time of 21:42.6, while junior Sarah Martinelli (21:48.5) and senior Jordan Hamric (21:55.5) rounded out the top 5 runners with a 29th and 31st place finish, respectively.
Seniors Aubrey Moskal (37th-22:13.5) and Hallie Portner (42nd-22:21.2) also ran in the championships in Austin.
The Mountaineers next competition has the team traveling back to State College, Pa., for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday, Nov. 9 at Noon on the Blue and White Golf Course. This will be the team’s second time running the course this season after finishing in fourth at the Penn State Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 8.
“It is important that we come home and refocus,” Cleary says. “The NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional is expected to be our best result of the year.”
Women’s 6k race
Sarah-Anne Brault …10th ... 20:52.8
Kelly Williams …19th … 21:37.9
Sydney Scott … 26th ... 21:42.6
Sarah Martinelli … 29th … 21:48.5
Jordan Hamric … 31st … 21:55.5
Aubrey Moskal … 37th … 22:13.5
Hallie Portner … 42nd … 22:21.2
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