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Men’s cross country historic season

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The Texas State cross country team wrapped up its season with historic takeaways.

The men’s team made headways when it received the highest region ranking in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association the school’s program has seen in 11 years.

The men were ranked No. 8 in the South Central Region after starting off the season strong.

The South Central Region is one of the toughest in the nation consisting of teams such as Arkansas, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M.

The Bobcats were right behind Baylor in the South Central Region ranking. The team also came in third in the Sun Belt Conference with UT-Arlington ranking first and Louisiana-Lafayette ranking second.

Texas State opened the year placing second at the Bear Twilight Invitational. The top five runners for the Bobcats finished within 10.2 seconds of each other, the closest among all teams.

The teams also competing in the meet were Baylor, Incarnate Word, North Texas, SMU and TCU.

The team was led by Jose Angel Gonzalez, junior, who came in sixth. Following Gonzalez was Logan Pittdman, junior, and sophomores Joseph Meade and Kyle Denomme.

Gonzalez crossed the finish line with a time of 12:23.9 seconds, and Pittdman finished off the pack with 12:29.2 seconds.

In the second meet of the season, the men’s team claimed the title of the 41st Annual Justin Cooper Rice Invitational.

The Bobcats defeated nationally ranked teams such as McNeese State, Rice, Stephen F. Austin, LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Gonzalez led the men’s team once again placing fourth out of 137 runners. He completed the course with a career best of 19:00.10 seconds in the 6K course.

The second Bobcat to cross the finish line was Denomme, who placed 16th with a time of 19:33.93 seconds. Making the top-25 were Meade and Joseph Pena, senior.

Placing first and second in the first two meets of the season is what helped the Bobcats get the No. 8 ranking in the South Central Region.

When the second USTFCCCA rankings were released, the Bobcats moved up to the No. 7 rank. Texas State remained behind Baylor, but passed SFA in the rankings as they moved to No. 9.

In the last meet of the regular season, the men’s team finished second overall in the Incarnate Word Invitational.

Meade had the team’s lead and placed in the top five of the meet along with Pena.

Meade finished second with a career best of 24:07 seconds in the 8K race. Not far behind was Pena coming in fourth with a personal best of 24:20 seconds.

Making the top 10 was Gonzalez as he finished in eighth with a personal best of 24:37 seconds.

Next on the list was the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

Texas State had three top-10 finishes to earn All-SBC Second Team honors.

Leading the way was Meade finishing eighth with a time of 25:06.8 seconds. Right behind him was Gonzalez placing ninth almost a second behind Meade. Pena claimed the last spot of the top 10 coming in tenth with a time of 25:09.8 seconds.

The Bobcats took home third overall in the meet, sending them to the NCAA South Central Regional meet.

At the NCAA South Central Regional meet, the Bobcats had a memorable day.

They placed eighth overall, and matched the program’s best finish at the meet since 2005.

Pena paced the Bobcats on the 10K course and was the first Texas State runner to finish. He crossed the finish line at 31:23.3 seconds to place 31st. He is the highest finishing Texas State runner dating back to 2005 at the regional meet.

Meade was the second to cross the finish line for the Bobcats. He had a time of 31:48.4 seconds coming in 41st. Pittdman finished a little over four seconds behind Meade coming in the top 50.

Texas State was second among the Sun Belt Conference finishing behind UT-Arlington and beating Louisiana-Lafayette.

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