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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M cross country dominates at Texas A&M Invitational

Sophomore+Jonathan+Chung+reacts+as+he+nears+the+finish+line+in+6th+place+of+the+mens+10k+during+the+NCAA+Division+I+South+Central+Regional+at+the+Watts+Cross+Country+Course+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+11%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore Jonathan Chung reacts as he nears the finish line in 6th place of the men’s 10k during the NCAA Division I South Central Regional at the Watts Cross Country Course on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

The Texas A&M cross country team has hit the trails blazing, recording back-to-back first place wins to open the season. The second cross country meet of the season was hosted at A&M’s Dale Watts ‘71 Cross Country Course on Friday, Sept. 15.
The men’s race began the morning as A&M sophomore Cooper Cawthra dominated the 8K course, crossing at 24 minutes and 4.6 seconds to take the individual title. The men’s team finished the meet in first place out of 13 competing teams, with the University of Houston placing second behind the Aggies.
“I tried to stay in contact with [junior] Jonathan [Chung] and [junior] Joseph [Benn],” Cawthra said. “Then at about the 4K mark Joseph made a pretty aggressive move and I just matched it and went from there.”
At the 2K mark, A&M was stacked in the top of the race. Chung led the race with a time of 5:55.4. Junior Siddharth Jayaraman followed behind in fifth place at 5:58.8, Cawthra in eighth place at 5:58.9 and freshman Jack Johnston trailed behind in ninth, 5:59.1.
A total of four Aggies finished within the top ten as Chung placed fourth at 24:17.0 behind Cawthra. Benn earned sixth place at 24:19.5 with Johnston coming in at eighth place with a time of 24:23.0.
“We went out pretty aggressively,” coach Wendal McRaven said. “Chung was leading the majority of the race and then Cooper stepped up and led the team.”
On the women’s side, junior Maddie Livingston led the way for the Maroon and White with a time of 17:18.3. Livingston, who placed seventh in the invitational last year and second in the squad’s last race, earned first place and the individual title.
“I took second last race and I came back even hungrier,” Livingston said. “Once again I’m so proud of my teammates, turning around and seeing so many of them so close and looking strong. So just another encouraging start to the process.”
Seeing double, the Aggies once again had four runners finish within the top ten. Sophomore Kennedy Fontenot finished in fourth place with a time of 17:33.9. In fifth place was senior Maddison Brown at 17:36.5 while freshman Shewaye Johnson earned seventh place clocking in at 17:42.5.
“The women’s team did a nice job today,” McRaven said. “Maddie has stepped up from last year and has grown into a leadership position. It’s a new group and we have made a lot of progress. I have seen their confidence develop over the past year and it’s been encouraging to see.”
Just behind A&M, University of Texas-Arlington had three competitors finish within the top ten. Freshman Matro Jepkemboi finished strong in second place at 17:24.2 as freshman Winnie Kipsang placed eighth and sophomore Lauren Walls-Portillo placed tenth.
The Aggies have not seen a stronger season opening since 2018 and look to continue their dominance on the road to Boston as they compete at the Battle in Beantown on Friday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m.
“The team is stronger and as we head to Boston we will continue to train and work hard,” McRaven said.

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