TERRE HAUTE, Ind.- Texas A&M sophomore Christina Munoz will represent the Aggie cross country team on Monday when she competes in the NCAA Championships, held on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The women’s race, starting a 11:55 a.m., will cover 6,000 meters. There will be live coverage of the race on CSTV and online at www.cstv.com. A link to the online webcast is available at aggieathletics.com. The show airs live from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST).
Munoz is the third different A&M female to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual over the past three seasons. Sarah Balfour qualified in 2005 while Merideth Snow earned a berth last season. For Aggie coach Dan Waters it’s his 13th NCAA qualifier in the past 13 seasons.
“I’ve been preparing mentally for it, so I think I’m ready for race day,” Munoz said. “When you run by yourself in a meet like this you have more time to really know yourself as a runner and a person. I think it will be good for me.”
Finishing as Texas A&M’s number two runner for a majority of the season, Munoz led the Aggies in two postseason meets as she earned All-Big 12 and All-Region honors.
During the Big 12 Championships in Lubbock, Munoz placed 11th with teammate Balfour taking 12th. Then at the South Central Region meet, Munoz earned a berth into the NCAA field by placing fifth with a time of 20:54.
“It was fun getting to tell my family and my high school coach what I accomplished,” said Munoz of advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Munoz ran on the NCAA course last year when Texas A&M competed at the Pre National meet. Running in an open race, Munoz covered the course in 22:34. She has run significantly faster than that in each of her three 6,000-meter races this season.
“It’s a really good course with open, wide areas,” noted Munoz. “It’s going to be awesome to run on it again. I think it’s going to go much better this year. I like the course since it covers the distance we have to run in just one loop.”
When Munoz ran the Agri Park course a second time this fall during the regional meet, she bettered her time by 51 seconds from when she ran at the Chile Pepper Festival a month before.
“I’m glad that I’ve been improving every week and at every race,” Munoz said. “I’m really looking forward to improving in this race as well.”
Big 12 teams competing in the women’s NCAA field include Colorado, Baylor and Texas Tech. Individuals who qualified from the conference include Iowa State’s Grace Kenney and Lisa Koll, Nebraska’s Lara Crofford and Jessica Eldridge of Oklahoma.