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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M’s women’s cross country clinches NCAA Championship appearance

Photo by Photo by Jaime Rowe

Junior Maddie Livingston runs on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 at the Arturo Barrios Invitational.

Coming off a seventh-place finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational and a sixth-place finish at the SEC Championship, the Texas A&M women’s cross country team came into the NCAA South Central Regional and surprised by qualifying for its first appearance at the NCAA Championship in 23 years.
In the second to last competition of the year for the women’s squad and the last competition for the men’s squad, both groups showed out on Friday, Nov. 10 at Agricultural Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
A&M’s women’s team finished second in the 6k competition, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championship.
The Maroon and White’s men’s team finished sixth in the 10k competition, with senior Eric Casarez winning eighth in his final South Central Regional. With a time of 29 minutes and 29.4 seconds. he clinched a spot in the NCAA championship for the second time in his career and first appearance since 2019.
At around the 1.6k split, the women’s team was sitting in third place with Arkansas and LSU in front of it.
Then, at the 3.6k split, the Aggies took the Tigers’ place and held onto it for the remainder of the race.
The Aggies were able to have three of their finishes in the top 15 for the women’s race with senior Madison Brown finishing ninth, junior Maddie Livingston at 11th and sophomore Kennady Fontenot at 14th with times of 20:42.2, 20:51.5 and 20:54.5, respectively.
South Central All-Region honors were awarded to Brown, Livingston and Fontenot for finishing in the top 25.
Two more members of the Maroon and White were able to finish in the top 50, with Fontenot and sophomore Emma Little finishing 30th and 32nd with times of 21:23.6 and 21:29.5, respectively.
The Aggies finished with a team score of 90 with only first-place Arkansas finishing with fewer points at 36, as four Razorbacks finished in the top 10.
The Aggie men’s squad started with a fourth-place spot at the 1.6k mark, with Casarez at 10th, junior Jonathan Chung at 30th and sophomore Cooper Cawthra following right behind him at 31st.
Things stayed steady for the Aggies at the 3.6k split as they stayed at fourth with freshman Jack Johnston catching up to 34th and junior Joseph Benn at 42nd.
However, at the 5.4k split, the Aggies slipped to fifth, and the 7.4k split was where Arkansas State put A&M back to sixth place.
A&M’s men’s squad also had Chung finish 18th with a time of 30:15, Johnston finish 31st with a time of 30:42.9 and Benn finish 52nd with a time of 31:16.1.
South Central All-Region honors were awarded to Casarez and Chung, as they both finished in the top 25.
A&M’s women’s team and Casarez now look ahead towards Charlottesville, Virginia for the NCAA Championship set for Saturday, Nov. 18, at Panorama Farms.

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