South Bend, Indiana -- On a great day for racing, the Texas A&M men turned in a stellar effort to place third in the Notre Dame Invitational held Friday afternoon on the Notre Dame Golf Course. Shadrack Songok led the Aggie charge as he placed second in 23 minutes, 33 seconds over the 8,000-meter course.
“The conditions were great today,” Songok noted of the 60 degree temperatures. “It wasn’t too cold and definitely not as hot as Texas. I felt I had a good race, the course was fast and we knew it was going to be fast race.
“We were aiming to be among the top five as a team. To finish third is fantastic. Now we can see what we can really do as a team in a field like this. Now we can start focusing on the Big 12 and nationals. I think we are really strong as a team right now.”
Florida State, ranked No. 26 heading into the meet, claimed top honors in the men’s race with a score of 81 points. Unranked Tulsa finished second with 136 while No. 28 Texas A&M placed third with 136.
The rest of the top 10 included No. 19 Providence scoring 148 points for fourth while Butler finished fifth with 208. The next batch of teams included Florida (217), No. 27 Notre Dame (217), No. 29 New Mexico (240), No. 8 Michigan (276) and Eastern Michigan (290).
Songok led the field for a majority of the race over the nine-hole golf course. A group of five runners made up the lead pack in the final stages of the race. Songok continued to lead until the final step to the finish line when Lamar’s Samuel Kosgei crossed ahead of Songok for a one second victory. Kosgei was clocked in 23:32 while Songok registered a 23:33. Florida’s Jeremy Criscione (23:34) placed third with Florida State’s Luke Gunn (23:35) and Notre Dame’s Patrick Smyth (23:36) finishing fourth and fifth.
“Being in the lead for the whole race is hard,” Songok said. “You are trying to maintain the pace and run as hard as you can. You just do what you have to do in that situation. I felt like I’m getting my strength back and that should fare well for the rest of the season.”
A&M’s Kevin McNab placed 17th among the field of 200 runners in a time of 24:05 while Kevin Ondrasek clocked 24:24 to finish 32nd. Mitch Bible become the fourth Aggie to cross the finish line as he posted a 24:27 for 35th. The last scoring position was attained by Joe Sauvageau, who ran 24:36 for 50th place.
The rest of the Aggie crew included: Kevin Burnett (25:18), Logan Sherman (25:20), Graham Northcutt (25:55) and James Hodges (26:18).
In the women’s race the A&M squad placed 20th among 23 schools with 543 points. Christina Munoz posted a top 20 finish as she placed 19th with a time of 17:06 on the 5,000-meter course. It marked an improvement by 40 seconds for Munoz over her time on this course last season.
No. 3 Florida State also claimed top team honors in the women’s field with a score of 88 points. No. 6 Princeton was runner-up with 124 points while No. 15 Michigan placed third with 136. Stony Brook (156) and No. 14 Florida (179) were fourth and fifth.
The remainder of the top 10 teams included SMU (245), No. 13 Providence (250), No. 19 Rice (251), No. 10 Illinois (257) and No. 18 New Mexico (257).
Elizabeth Slaughter ran 18:11 to place 107th and was the next Aggie finisher behind Munoz. Leigh Berger (18:33) finished as the third A&M runner as Alie Cornell (18:38) and Kasey McNorton (18:39) rounded out the scoring positions for the Aggies.
Also finishing among the field of 186 runners for A&M were Brooke Upshaw (19:00), Emilie Fischer (19:03), Merideth Snow (19:13), and Kirsten Brown (19:52).