Turning words into actions is what the Texas State ross country team did Friday night at the 40th annual Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas.
Coach Giles McDonnell has been preaching teamwork all week. When the race came around they did just that, worked off of each other to improve.
“They ran better than they would’ve as individuals,” McDonnell said.
On the men’s side freshman Joseph Meade, sophomore Logan Pittdman, junior Alec Saucedo and sophomore Jordan Janer all stayed together throughout the race.
“They ran really well,” McDonnell said. “They set a good pace for each other and kind of figured out some of the team aspects of cross country. I really liked what those guys did in a pack.”
Running as a pack proved well for the four runners. Meade, who finished 26th overall finished with a time of 19:32.39. Next up was Pittman who finished with a time of 19:42.04 at 33rd place. Saucedo came in at 35th with a time of 19:44.65 while Janer finished in 38th with a time of 19:45.86.
McDonnell hopes the method of teamwork carries over to the rest of the team and they start to utilize it more and more throughout the season.
“It’s an evolving process,” McDonnell said. “When you run together like that.”
Among the men’s 20 top finishers was sophomore Jose Angel Gonzales who finished in 20th place with a time of 19:18.51. The Bobcats’ leader was senior Joseph Pena who came in at 13th overall. The men finished the meet in fourth place which is the exact same place they finished at the Rice Invitational last season. The Bobcat’s placed above some well respected teams including A&M Corpus-Christi, Rice and Houston Baptist.
The men weren’t the only ones working together. Freshman Devina Schneider and sophomore Nikki Sanchez made a big impact on each other by sticking together. The course was challenging, packed with mud and puddles due to weather, but the team pulled through.
“Devina and Nikki ran really well, they stood out to me,” McDonnell said. “Nikki went for it from the get go and ran hard on a hard course. They both ran a really smart race and ended up finishing pretty high.”
Schneider finished in 14th place with a time of 17:13.57 in the 3,800 meter race. Sanchez finished with a time of 17:13.95 and ended up in 16th place. The next Texas State runner to finish was sophomore Victoria Lautzenheise who finished in 36th place with a time of 18:14.97. After Lautzenheise was junior Belinda Aguilar who finished with a time of 18:35.75 and placed at 45th. The women finished seventh just above Houston Baptist, Texas A&M International, Prairie View and Texas Southern.
The Bobcats will be traveling to Arkansas to compete in the Chile Pepper Cross Country festival on Saturday October 3rd.