The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies get outpaced at SEC Championships

Photo by Courtesy of Aiden Shertzer/Texas A&M Athletics

Freshman Gemma Goddard earned All-SEC Freshman honors for her 36th overall performance on Friday, Oct. 29 at the SEC Cross Country Championships. 

Texas A&M’s cross country team returned from the SEC Championship at the Gains Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia, Mo. with a middle of the pack finish.
The men’s cross country team had strong performances from junior Eric Casarez, sophomore Brady Grant and senior Gavin Hoffpauir, who all helped A&M secure a ninth place finish. On the women’s side, freshman Gemma Goddard led the Aggies alongside seniors Julia Black and Abbey Santoro, who contributed to the Aggies’ 11th place finish.
On the cold, rainy morning of Oct. 29, Casarez led the men’s cross country team once again and posted a time of 24:18.0 in the 8K, good enough for 25th place. That time is42 seconds slower than the 8K course record he set on Oct. 1 of 23:36.5.
“We’re not ecstatic,” cross country head coach Wendell McRaven told 12th Man. “Eric was probably a little disappointed with his individual race. Our strength on the men’s side has to be having a tight two through five split, that’s who we are. We are not good enough to run by ourselves and run individually right now. We didn’t do a great job of executing that, and that’s been a little bit of a struggle for the guys all year long.”
However, McRaven had high praise for Grant and Hoffpauir.
“I was really pleased with Brady [Grant],” McRaven told 12th Man. “He stepped up and ran a solid race for us. I thought Brady and Gavin [Hoffpauir] did a nice job early in the race finding each other.”
Both Grant and Hoffpauir finished in the top 50 of a field of 113 runners. Grant came in 30th place, posting a time of 24:30.3. Hoffpauir came in 49th place, with a time of 25:01.2.
The men’s team finished the day with a total of 229 points.
On the women’s side, Goddard earned All SEC-freshman honors after her 36th place finish. In the field of 139 other runners, Goddard held the second-fastest time from the other true freshman competing, posting a time of 21:32.4 in the 6K.
“Gemma [Goddard] ran a heck of a race ending up being our No. 1 runner,” McRaven told 12th Man. “We’re better than we were a year ago, and we’re moving in the right direction. I think we’re an upper half of the conference team.”
Black was not far behind, posting a time of 21:48.9 and finishing in 52nd place. Other finishers were Santoro, who posted a time of 21:50.5 and finished in 54th place, junior Grace Plain, who posted a time of 21:56.7 and finished in 61st place, and freshman Maddie Livingston, who posted a time of 22:19.2 and finished in 83rd place.
The maroon and white left Gains Creek with 270 total points for 11th place.
The Aggies are off next week but return to action on Nov. 12 for the NCAA South Central Regional in Waco.

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