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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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Cross country men take victory, Jochen claims individual title at Texas A&M invitational

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Karis Jochen defended her 6,000-meter title earlier this year at the Texas A&M Invitational.

The Dale Watts Cross Country course played host to the Texas A&M Invitational early Saturday morning. Teams came from all around, including powerhouses Rice, Baylor and Kentucky. The men were able to claim a team victory with a total of 33 points, while senior All-American Karis Jochen took her own individual victory.
Jochen defended her title after dominating the Invitational just a year ago. She swept through the 6,000-meter race in 20:14.2. Close behind was Abigail Cartwright of Rice (20:16.6) and Kentucky’s Katie Kunc (20:18.5) showing in third.
“This was an exciting race for the Aggies today,” Jochen told 12thman.com. “Having this home course is such a special thing for our team. Getting one more race on this home course as an Aggie was really exciting, and I wanted to go out with a bang and have a nice memory of it. It’s been so good to me and I’m blessed to have it.”
The women finished fifth with 123 points, led by Rice (70), Baylor (72), Lipscomb (80), and Kentucky (82). Behind Jochen were freshman Ashley Driscoll (21:37.1) finishing 19th , Katie Watson (21:54) in 32nd, Devin Norton (21:59) claiming 36th and Kelsey Persyn (22:08.2) rounding out the women’s front five.
“Our women are making nice progress,” assistant coach Wendel McRaven told 12thman.com. “Karis did a nice job and this is her stomping grounds here. She knows how to race well and I don’t think she’s had a bad race on this course. For her to run as fast as she did, as well as the top five women in this race, on this day was impressive.”
The men fought with a great display of teamwork in their first-place finish of the 8,000-meter race. They were led by senior Austin Wells (24:22.3) in a tight group scoring 4-5- 7-8- 9.
“I thought it was a solid effort on a warm and humid day,” said McRaven. “The men had four up in the lead pack early on and then we put our fifth runner up there by the finish. I thought they did a good job and were very solid. Kentucky gave us a good race. That was good for our guys, because we want to be challenged and learn how to race better.”
Kentucky scored first with Jacob Thomson (24:12.7) and claimed the runner-up spot with a total of 41 points. Lamar showed at third with 81 points. 
“This is where I want to be right now, at this point of the season, but there is definitely room to improve on,” Wells told 12thman.com. “It was hot out here with the humidity and you felt it….”
At Well’s feet were his four teammates, all finishing within just 17 seconds of each other. Elliott Farris finished seventh with 24:25.9. Close behind was the trifecta Cameron Villareal (24:26.7), Jacob Perry (24:38.1) and Christian Farris (24:39.1) in ninth through eleventh.
“It’s definitely a good start in where we want to be,” said Wells. “It was a very good team effort…. We really wanted to work together through the 5km and the try to push the last three.”
The Aggies return to action at the Joe Piane Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on Friday, September 30 at 1 p.m. CST.

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