Ames, Iowa – With a runner-up finish in his first Big 12 Championship race, Texas A&M senior Shadrack Songok led the No. 18 Aggies to a fourth-place team finish at the Iowa State Course on Saturday. Kevin McNab also earned All-Big 12 honors with a 10th place finish.
Meanwhile, A&M junior Christina earned All-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive season in placing seventh in the women’s field. The top 15 finishers in each race earn All-Big 12 distinction.
A winner of the Southland Conference individual title the past two seasons with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Songok led the field for a majority of the race over the 8,000-meter course that offered plenty of challenges with its up and down terrain.
“The Big 12 is a lot more competitive conference,” Songok said. “Finishing as the runner-up is still a good achievement for me. The conditions were very good today, especially when running on such a difficult course. It was a tough course with tough competition.”
Followed by a pack of four Oklahoma State runners once the field passed the halfway point. Songok held them off until the final 400 meters. Then Cowboy freshman German Hernandez pulled ahead of Songok on the kick to the finish line and won the race in 23 minutes, 48 seconds. Songok placed second in 23:54.
“I realized the pack of Oklahoma State runners were catching up to me after I dropped the other runners who had been up front with me,” Songok noted. “I think I relaxed a bit too much at that stage and that allowed the next group to catch up with me. With less then half a mile to go we started kicking hard. I gave it all I have and finished second.”
A trio of Oklahoma State runners were next to cross the finish line on the way to earning the third-ranked Cowboys their first Big 12 team title with a score of 26 points. No. 17 Colorado, winners of the previous 12 conference championships, was runner-up with 66 points.
Iowa State, ranked No. 22, claimed third with 67 points while Texas A&M scored 95 points for fourth place. Finishing behind A&M were Missouri (155), Texas (179) and Nebraska (200).
It was the best team finish at conference for the Aggies since the squad placed third in three consecutive Big 12 meets from 2001 to 2003. A&M’s point total was its best score in a Big 12 meet, topping the previous best of 104 from the 2001 conference meet.
Songok produced the best individual finish by an Aggie in a Big 12 Championship meet, bettering the fourth place efforts of Juan DeBastos (2001) and Scott Lengefeld (1999). Songok’s time was also the best mark by an Aggie in the Big 12 race. The previous best was 24:20 by DeBastos in 2001.
Munoz recorded the best finish by an A&M female at the Big 12 meet since Melissa Gulli placed seventh in 2002 and became just the third Aggie female to post a top 10 finish in the Big 12. Last season Munoz was 11th in the conference race. She becomes the third A&M female to lead the team in two Big 12 races, joining Andrea Bookout (1999, 2001), Melissa Gulli (2000, 2002) and Vanessa Kelly (2003, 2004).
Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego won her third Big 12 title and led the Red Raider women to its first conference title with 44 points. Baylor was runner-up with 71 while Nebraska placed third with 101 points. The Aggies finished 11th in team scoring with 242 points.
Mitch Bible was the next A&M runner to finish on the men’s side, placing 19th in 25:03. Kevin Ondrasek, who had a fast start for the Aggie men and was among the top 15 early on, placed 27th in 25:17 as the fourth Aggie finishers. Joe Sauvageau completed A&M’s scoring five with a time of 25:30 for 39th.
Other A&M finishers in the men’s race included Graham Northcutt (58th, 26:02), Kevin Burnett (60th, 26:06), Logan Sherman (85th, 27:14) and Wes Caceras (87th, 27:23).
Following the effort of Munoz in the women’s race was Elizabeth Slaughter, who was the second Aggie finisher in 22:15 for 30th place. Kasey McNorton finished 63rd in 23:02 while Leigh Berger (68th, 23:08) and Amber Weems (83rd, 23:38) wrapped up A&M’s team score.
Other finishers for the Aggies in the women’s field included Alie Cornell (87th, 23:47), Kirsten Brown (90th, 23:55) and Merideth Snow (93rd, 24:06).
Big 12 Team Scores / Individuals
Men: 1. Oklahoma State 26; 2. Colorado 66; 3. Iowa State 67; 4. Texas A&M 95; 5. Missouri 155; 6. Texas 179; 7. Nebraska 200; 8. Kansas 208; 9. Texas Tech 255; 10. Baylor 297; 11. Kansas State 355; 12. Oklahoma 365.
Individuals: 1. German Fernandez, OkSt, 23:48; 2. Shadrack Songok, TxAM, 23:54; 3. John Kosgei, OkSt, 24:01; 4. Ryan Vail, OkSt, 24:02; 5. Colby Lowe, OkSt, 24:06; 6. Guor Marial, IaSt, 24:16; 7. Kiel Uhl, IaSt, 24:21; 8. Jordan Kyle, Colo, 24:29; 9. Chris Pannone, Colo, 24:36; 10. Kevin McNab, TxAM, 24:37.
Other A&M finishers: 19. Mitch Bible, 25:03; 27. Kevin Ondrasek, 25:17; 39. Joe Sauvageau, 25:30; 58. Graham Northcutt, 26:02; 60. Kevin Burnett, 26:06; 85. Logan Sherman, 27:14; 87. Wes Caceras, 27:23.
Women: 1. Texas Tech 44; 2. Baylor 71; 3. Nebraska 102; 4. Texas 117; 5. Colorado 145; 6. Kansas State 158; 7. Oklahoma State 168; 8. Kansas 203; 9. Iowa State 225; 10. Oklahoma 229; 11. Texas A&M 242; 12. Missouri 284.
Individuals: 1. Sally Kipyego, TxT, 19:45; 2. Lillian Badaru, TxT, 20:37; 3. Erin Bedell, Bay, 20:46; 4. Beverly Ramos, KsSt, 20:47; 5. Kelly Waters, OU, 21:15; 6. Lara Crofford, Neb, 21:19; 7. Christina Munoz, TxAM, 21:23; 8. Asia Diaz, TxT, 21:25; 9. Rachel Carrizales, Neb, 21:26; 10. Betzy Jimenez, Tex, 21:28.
Other A&M finishers: 30. Elizabeth Slaughter, 22:15; 63. Kasey McNorton, 23:02; 68. Leigh Berger, 23:08; 83. Amber Weems, 23:38; 87. Alie Cornell, 23:47; 90. Kirsten Brown, 23:55; 93. Merideth Snow, 24:06.
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