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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Cross country men finish 14th against nation’s best in Notre Dame

Photo by Photo by Carlie Russell
Cross Country

The Aggie men and women cross country teams — currently ranked No. 3 and No. 6 in the South Central Region — raced Friday at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.  The men claimed an impressive 14th place, scoring 332 points while the women placed 22nd overall. They were led by seniors Cameron Villarreal and Elliott Farris, who finished 23rd and 25th among 202 runners.

Farris ran strong from the start of the race and finished the five-mile course in 24 minutes, 11 seconds, trailing Villarreal who clocked 24:10.6.

“It’s a good marker to see where we are at, since we’re coming off a pretty solid training block,” Villarreal told “Definitely not our best race, but judging by how we finished together as a team it’s a good stepping stone. Now we’ll have another solid two weeks of training going into Wisconsin. Then we have another measuring stick of where we’re at as a team. We’re building on each race.”

The pair was followed by junior Christian Farris (24:40.8) in 70th, senior Austin Wells (24:57.9) in 106th and sophomore Jacob Perry (25:06.0) rounding out the scoring five in 117th on the Burke Memorial course.

“Cameron Villarreal is working his way back after being hurt during the outdoor season last spring,” A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven told “He’s getting better every time he races. Elliott Farris has made a tremendous amount of progress. What we need to do a little better is have our number 3-4-5 runners, in a big meet like this, to run just like they do in a smaller, well-contained field.”

Team victory honors went to No. 20 Mississippi, who tallied a score of 83. The Rebels were led by individual winner Sean Tobin (23:31.9). The Aggies, meanwhile, finished among Alabama and Weber State, who were each ranked 30th in the national rankings this past week.

On the women’s side, Karis Jochen once again led the way to the women’s 22nd place finish, totaling 490 points for the team. She clocked a time of 16:53.2 and placed 29th overall in the 5 kilometer race. The rest of the top-five scoring runners from A&M finished between 113th and 137th.

“Karis was a little off today,” McRaven told “When you’re in a field like this, when it’s this good, if you’re a little off and don’t get out very well, then you’re going to struggle. We saw some progress with some of the girls, and in a race like this I think they learned some things. We have a month until the conference meet, so they’ve got to decide if they’re going to do some growing between now and the postseason.”

The Aggies return to action this Friday as they play host of the Aggie Open on the Dale Watts Course at 5:30 p.m. CST.

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