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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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A&M teams, Eric Casarez stay hot

The+Aggies+stick+together+as+they+approach+the+3km+mark.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

The Aggies stick together as they approach the 3km mark.

The Texas A&M men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Missouri this week for the first SEC meet at Gans Creek Cross Country Course.
The Aggies did not disappoint.
In a repeat of last week, A&M’s Eric Casarez broke the 8K course record Friday, Oct. 1, beating more than 200 competitors and clocking a time of 23:36.5. The women’s team continued its winning streak, securing its third straight team victory.
Impressive performances from senior Julia Black, 21:17.2, who finished fourth overall, and freshman Gemma Goddard, 21:17.3, who finished sixth, were crucial to the women’s first-place finish. Black said she attributed her strong performance to Goddard.
“Honestly, she pushed me so much, and we were really able to work together at the end to pass a lot of people,” Black said. “I saw her ahead of me; she pulled me along. I caught up to her, and then I pulled her along. That’s what it’s like to race with teammates, you pull each other along, and you can pass a lot of people along the way.”
Three other Aggies finished in the top 25. Senior Abbey Santoro, 21:27.1, finished 13th, freshman Maddie Livingston, 21:31.7, finished 18th, and senior Grace Plain, 21:37.6, finished in 23rd.
The Aggies took the team title in the 6K by three points, scoring 64 points on the day and barely edging out Missouri, who scored 67.
Casarez’s second-course record and third straight victory weren’t enough to pull the rest of the men’s team into the top finish. However, head cross country coach Wendel McRaven said he believes the meet was a teachable lesson for the men’s team.
“They lost sight of each other and were kind of out there on their own, and we’re just not at the point where we can do that,” McRaven said. “Our strength is a group of guys that really run close together as a team; they’ll get better at it. We’re a lot better today. We got beat by some good teams, we learned some valuable lessons, and we’ll be better in two weeks.”
Sophomore Joseph Benn, 24:42.7, finished 29th; junior Colton Colonna, 24:51.8, finished 37th, senior Gavin Hoffpauir, 24:57.8, finished 45th, and junior Brady Grant, 25:01.4, finished 49th. The Aggies finished the day with 157 points, good enough for 7th place.
The Aggies return to action at home on Saturday, Oct. 16, when they host the annual Arturo Barrios Invitational at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course.

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