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Cross country finishes strong at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Relays

By goUTSA.com
On September 6, 2009

Five relay teams finished in the top eight overall, as the UTSA cross country teams turned in a solid showing at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Relays on Friday evening at West Guth Park.

On the women's side, sophomore Kayla Pratt and freshman Jessica Bitterly teamed up to finish first in a field of 12 relay tandems with a time of 26:45. Seniors Dana Mecke and Pernilla Savestrand were close behind in third with a 27:06 clocking, just behind the Stephen F. Austin duo of Stephanie Ganter and Amy Shackleford (26:57).

Sophomore Courtney Nelson and freshman Ashley Benes placed seventh overall in 28:08.

In the men's race, a trio of Roadrunners relay teams finished in the top four, led by sophomores Layne Nixon and Albert Cardenas, who crossed second overall in 41:20.

Sophomore Brandon Chiuminetta and redshirt freshman Daniel Balbontin were just one second behind in third place, while senior Corey Vargas and freshman Jim Stitt took fourth in 41:27.

Sophomores Cole Reveal and Michael Cook also were in action, clocking a 42:39 for 11th in the race won by Ari Perez and Jordan Valle of the host Islanders in 41:03.

"We learned today that we are a much-improved team from this point a year ago," distance/cross country coach Scott Slade said after the meet.

"There is a lot of season to go and everyone needs to continue to focus on training hard and improving every week. I am extremely happy with our performance and it's good to get a race in on the same course that will host the conference championship."

The Roadrunners return to action on Saturday, Sept. 12, when they travel to College Station for the Texas A&M Invitational.


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