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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A&M XC looks to qualify for NCAA championship

Photo by Photo By: Alexis Will
Texas A&M Cross Country

Texas A&M will host the South Central Regional meet at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course this Friday. 

Teams at the meet will compete  to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The women’s race, beginning at 10 a.m., covers over 6,000 meters, while the men’s race, starting one hour later, spans 10,000 meters.

The top-two teams in the regional meet, as well as the top four individual finishers who are not on qualifying teams, will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. The last time Texas A&M qualified for the NCAA Championships was in 2011, when the men finished 18th at the national meet. 

Coming off the men’s second place finish at the SEC Championship meet two weeks ago, the Aggies are in the fight for an automatic spot in the NCAA Championship meet. Arkansas, who garnered the past two South Central titles in the men’s division, is expected to fight for a berth to the NCAA Championships.  

A&M’s Cameron Villarreal, who finished eighth at the conference meet two weeks ago, aims to place in the top-four finishers who may qualify for the national meet. 

Houston’s Brian Barraza is the top returning runner who ran to a fourth-place finish last year and placed 28th as a freshman. Barraza will be a favorite to win the meet as he placed fourth at the American Athletic Conference and won the Texas A&M Invitational earlier this season.

The Texas A&M women’s team finished sixth at the regional meet last year and third for the three consecutive years. The Aggie women last won the South Central Regional in 2000 and placed 18th in the NCAA Championships. The Razorbacks, who won the past four South Central women’s titles, return Dominique Scott, who won the women’s 2014 South Central race and was the runner-up in 2013. Also in the hunt for a spot at the NCAA Championships on the women’s race is SMU and Rice, who return top-five finishers from last year. 

Texas A&M’s Karis Jochen finished 10th a year ago after placing 22nd overall as a freshman. Jochen, who missed the NCAA berth by one place last year, seeks to capture one of the top-four qualifying places for the NCAA Championship meet.

There will be seven athletes running for each team, where the top-five runners will score. The Texas A&M men’s team plans to run Eli Canal, Elliott Farris, Aaron Murray, Jacob Perry, Colin Stoeber and Juan Uribe. On the women’s side, the crew is Hannah Campbell, Kelsey Persyn, Arin Rice, Kaitlin Tanner, Katie Watson and Emily Willingham.

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