COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M senior Shadrack Songok and Aggie assistant coach Dan Waters each received postseason regional honors from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday.
Songok won his third South Central Region individual title this past weekend in Waco and has been named the region Athlete of the Year. His effort led the Aggies to a team victory in the regional as Texas A&M became just the second school to defeat Arkansas for the region title in the past 30 years. Songok is a senior at Texas A&M and is a Material Science & Engineering graduate student.
Waters earned Coach of the Year honors for the South Central Region. Prior to this season Waters has had 13 individual qualifiers for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the past 13 years.
This fall the men’s squad claimed victories over Arkansas twice, with the first win coming on the Razorback’s home course during the Chile Pepper Festival. The Aggies also produced its lowest team score, 95 points, in the Big 12 Championship meet as they finished fourth behind three nationally-ranked programs.
Winning the South Central Region meet also moved the Aggie men up in the national rankings. Texas A&M is No. 19 heading into the NCAA Championships on Monday, moving up from their previous ranking of No. 22. Members of the men’s team also competing in the national meet are Mitch Bible, Kevin Burnett, Kevin McNab, Graham Northcutt, Kevin Ondrasek, Joseph Sauvageau and Logan Sherman.
This marks the sixth time an Aggie squad will compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Previous A&M teams competed in 1961 (12th), 1982 (20th), 1999 (22nd), 2002 (26th) and 2003 (19th).
Other good news this week had Texas A&M’s Elizabeth Slaughter joining the women’s field for the NCAA meet. Slaughter placed 20th in the region race and had the same time as the fourth and final individual automatic qualifier.
Slaughter will join teammate Christina Munoz, who qualified for her second NCAA Championship meet in cross country with a third-place finish in the region meet. This season marks the fourth consecutive year individual(s) have advanced to the NCAA meet for the Aggies. Previous qualifiers included Sarah Balfour (2005), Merideth Snow (2006), Brian McKinstry (2006) and Munoz (2007).
The NCAA Championships will be held on Monday, Nov. 24, in Terre Haute, Indiana and will be televised live by CBS College Sports from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The action will also be available via a webcast on NCAA.com. The women’s 6,000-meter race will start at 11 a.m. and the men’s 10,000-meter race begins at 11:45 a.m.