The Texas State men’s and women’s cross country teams ended their 2010 campaign Nov. 13 at the NCAA South Central Regionals in Waco.
The Bobcats concluded the year after competing in six regular-season meets before the Southland Conference Championships and the South Central Regional Meet.
Michael Morris, biology junior, and a leader for the Bobcats throughout most of the season, placed 13th with a time of 25:38 at the SLC meet.
Morris said the team was particularly proud of its finish at the SLC Championships, and the chemistry that was developed throughout the 2010 season.
“We are extremely proud of our sixth-place finish at the championship race,” Morris said. “What we really accomplished this season was coming together as a team. All season, we ran as a pack and worked together to make each other better. This season I was proud of how much I matured as a teammate and as a leader. I learned a lot from Jon Hernandez. Without his return to the team this season, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we did.”
The team improved to a sixth-place conference finish from a ninth-place result a season ago.
Leading the Bobcats at the conference meet was Jonathan Hernandez, chemistry senior, who came in with a time of 25:37 to make 12th place.
Other top performers this season were Jesus Ordaz, pre-geography resources and environmental studies freshman, Matt Novak, exercise and sports science senior, Michael Richards, political science senior, and Andres Herrera, exercise and sports science freshman.
Coach Grigori Viniar said Hernandez, Morris and Herrera were the most improved for the 2010 season.
On the women’s side, Steffanie Armstrong, nutrition and foods junior, led the women in her third season for Texas State.
Armstrong posted a ninth-place finish at the SLC Championships to capture all-conference accolades. She led Texas State to an eighth-place finish at conference with a time of 21:59.
Armstrong said improving each meet with a young team was a season highlight for her.
“Most of us came up with personal records every meet,” Armstrong said. “It’s a great feeling to consistently run faster, especially with a young team, because we have high hopes for the future.”
Sandra Venegas, exercise and sports science junior, and Rachel Melton, exercise and sports science freshman, were the second and third runners to cross the finish line at the SLC Championships and the South Central Regionals.
Armstrong complimented Venegas and Melton on their determination and progress this season.
“I’m really happy with our team’s development throughout the season,” Armstrong said. “I am so proud of Sandra and Rachel. They worked with each other the entire season and finished strong in every meet. Sandra came back from being hurt last season and had her best showing this year. Rachel always ran a smart race and did very well, even with her lack of experience as a freshman. All of the other girls had a great season as well. Most of the girls improved their time from conference to regionals, which is awesome.”
Viniar said the strong performances of Melton and Michelle Jones, anthropology freshman, were good indicators of the future of Bobcat cross country.
“Some of the freshmen (such as Melton and Jones) showed very good potential,” Viniar said.
Morris said the team will have to work hard during the off-season to continue success for next year.
“For next season, it will all come down to summer training,” Morris said. “If we can stay in shape over the summer and come back and start the new season where we finished this past time, we will be on a good path to be able to place even higher than we did this year.”