The Texas State cross country competed as best as they could Friday night against the Longhorns.
Although Texas is ranked second in the South Central region in the USTFCCCA Preseason Regional Rankings, Texas State still held their own out there. Coach Giles McDonnell said the course was challenging — to say the least.
“I think they see a good team like Texas and see that they did pretty well against them,” McDonnell said. “The numbers don’t tell the whole story. We kind of went neck and neck with them and it wasn’t until the end when Texas started to pull away.”
For freshman Devina Schneider, this invitational was her first collegiate cross country race. By keeping up with sophomore Nikki Sanchez, Schneider proved what kind of athlete she can become. Schneider finished the 3K at 11:40.62 and was the second finisher for Texas State. Sanchez ledd the women’s side for the Bobcats with a time of 11:32.84.
The third Texas State finisher for the women’s side was sphomore Victoria Lautzenheiser, who finished with a time of 12:04.90. This race was Lautzenheiser’s first and she showed she has the potential to improve and become a top runner among Sanchez and Schneider.
On the men’s side, sophomore Jose Angel Gonzales finished first among his teammates and eighth overall with time of 16:11.54 in the 5K. McDonnell said Gonzalez ran a tactical race to improve on his finishing ability.
“Angel did something that he doesn’t normally do, he got out slower,” McDonnell said. “The goal for him this time was he wanted to work on his finish. He wasn’t in the front pack like he normally is. He worked himself up to be the top mens finisher.”
In addition to Gonzales, senior Joseph Pena finished second among the Bobcats with a time of 16:25.98. Just behind Pena was sophomore Logan Pittdman, who finished with a time of 16:29.26. Soon after Pittdman, freshman Joseph Meade finished with a time of 16:35.21. Junior Alec Saucedo, who went all-conference last season, ran a 16:58.43.
Texas State started the season off with one of their toughest opponents, setting the bar high early in the year for the team. After running against a highly ranked team on an unforgiving course the Bobcats will be ready to compete at a high level throughout the rest of the season.
“They did well,” McDonnell said. “It was a very challenging course, probably the hardest they’ve ever run on but they handled it pretty well. Texas is very good. It was kind of an eye opener for them. They came away feeling accomplished. They know they have some things to do to get better.”
The Bobcats are set to run at the Rice Invitational Sept. 11 against Houston Baptist and Rice in Houston, Texas.
Follow Autumn Anderson on Twitter at @aaatumn_.