HOUSTON – Texas A&M women claimed the team title for the second consecutive year at the Rice Invitational on Friday as Aggie frosh Karis Jochen led the squad with a runner-up finish with a time of 14:37 on the 4,220-meter course.
The A&M men were runner-up after winning the team title last season, scoring 87 points to finish just 10 points behind the host Owls (77). Tying for third in the men’s race with 89 points was Lamar and Stephen F. Austin. Frosh Austin Wells was the top finisher for the Aggies, placing 12th in 17:09 over the 5,500-meter course.
“I thought the women’s team ran really well,” said Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. “The pace went out really fast early on, and they were able to adapt throughout the race and they ran strong to the finish. I was really pleased with the debut by Karis.
“The men ran a solid race, but didn’t run together very well. We competed well, but we still have some things we need to work on. I was really pleased with some of our young guys making their presence felt.”
Jochen, who competed at A&M Consolidated in College Station as a prep, made her Aggie debut on the looping course at the Rice intramural fields.
“I’m so excited for the team,” stated Jochen. “Whenever I heard how good all the girls did it got me really pumped for the rest of the season. I’m excited to see what we can do, because I think we have a shot at representing Texas A&M well at nationals.
Moving into the lead during the early stages, Jochen challenged eventual winner Leigh Lattimore of Lamar (14:30) throughout the race. Finishing in third and fourth place were a pair of Rice runners, Cali Roper (14:38) and Katie Jensen (14:53).
“As an individual in my first college race I was so nervous,” noted Jochen. “I took it out hard and I’m glad I did. I was able to get a taste of being in first place for part of the race, and then I had it taken away from me. I think that is just making me so much more excited for the rest of the season. I’m so hungry to get racing again.
“Surprisingly it was a lot of fun racing with the Lamar runner. We kind of went back and forth for a while and I threw in a couple of surges as we fought for the win. She was able to power ahead a bit at the end and it was a good learning experience for me.”
Completing the A&M women’s scoring five was the veteran crew of Hillary Montgomery (14:54), Sophie Blake (15:05), Amanda Jenkins (15:17) and Gabby Salazar (15:29) as they placed 5-6-7-9 in the adjusted scoring to compile the winning tally of 29 points.
Rice scored 64 points to finish second in team scoring behind Texas A&M with Lamar in third at 80 points. Rounding out the top five teams were Stephen F. Austin (124) and Sam Houston (152).
Isaac Spencer led the Aggie men in the early portion of the race while Wells had a solid finish to 12th just a couple of seconds ahead of Spencer (17:11), who placed 14th. The next three scorers for the A&M squad included Cameron Villarreal (17:25), Xavier Jimenez (17:29) and Austin Geerts (17:50) as they placed 18th-20th-23rd in adjusted scoring for 87 points.
Another pair of top 20 finishers for the A&M women included Grace Fletcher (15:34) and Katie Willard (15:38) in 12th and 14th place. Meredith Gleitz (15:58) followed in 25th ahead of Johanna Galloway (36, 16:08), Heather Sterling (40, 16:12), Caitlin Gilmore (50, 16:28), Eva Vigh (52, 16:33), Haley Deakins (53, 16:37), Emily Willingham (62, 16:48), Sara Shaw (71, 17:06), Ashley Chamberlain (76, 17:16) and Lauren Fontana (79, 17:28).
Micah Dettmer led the next batch of finishers for the Aggie men, running 17:52 for 45th place, followed by Dallas Rushing (51, 17:58), Colin Stoeber (52, 18:00), Jake Roberts (61, 18:09), Cameron Thornton (90, 18:42), Dillon Worley (92, 18:42), Bobby Zeller (93, 18:43) and Aaron Murray (113, 19:11).
WOMEN: 1. Texas A&M 29; 2. Rice 64; 3. Lamar 80; 4. Stephen F. Austin 124; 5. Sam Houston 152; 6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 160; 7. Texas State 212; 8. McNeese State 217; 9. Houston 246; 10. Houston Baptist 267; 11. Nicholls State 313; 12. Texas A&M-Kingsville 351; 13. TCU 368; 14. Prairie View A&M 385.
2. Karis Jochen, 14:37; 5. Hillary Montgomery, 14:54; 7. Sophie Blake, 15:05; 8. Amanda Jenkins, 15:17; 10. Gabby Salazar, 15:29; 12. Grace Fletcher, 15:34; 14. Katie Willard, 15:38; 25. Meredith Gleitz, 15:58; 36. Joanna Galloway, 16:08; 40. Heather Sterling, 16:12; 50. Caitlin Gilmore, 16:28; 52. Eva Vigh, 16:33; 53. Haley Deakins, 16:37; 62. Emily Willingham, 16:48; 71. Sara Shaw, 17:06; 76. Ashley Chamberlain, 17:16; 79. Lauren Fontana, 17:28.
MEN: 1. Rice 77; 2. Texas A&M 87; 3. tie, Stephen F. Austin & Lamar 89; 5. McNeese State 94; 6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 133; 7. Houston 147; 8. Houston Baptist 216; 9. TCU 243; 10. Texas State 278; 11. Sam Houston 281; 12. Texas A&M-International 342; 13. Texas A&M-Kingsville 397; 14. Texas Southern 449.
12. Austin Wells, 17:09; 14. Isaac Spencer, 17:11; 18. Ryan Miller, 17:23; 21. Cameron Villarreal, 17:25; 24. Xavier Jimenez, 17:29; 42. Austin Geerts, 17:50; 45. Micah Dettmer, 17:52; 51. Dallas Rushing, 17:58; 52. Colin Stoeber, 18:00; 61. Jake Roberts, 18:09; 90. Cameron Thornton, 18:42; 92. Dillon Worley, 18:42; 93. Bobby Zeller, 18:43; 113. Aaron Murray, 19:11.
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