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Cross country teams bring home honors

Nov. 4, 2004

By ASHLEY ARGUELLO, reporter

Bears' cross country teams have been training year-round to help them Saturday at the 2004 Big 12 Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship in Topeka, Kan. Baylor women's team brought home fourth place, and the men's team won seventh.

"Considering what kind of stuff we've been through injury wise and everything, they put together a pretty amazing performance," Jon Capron, assistant coach, said

Individually, Brittany Brockman and Bo Price won all-conference honors. All-conference is awarded to the first 15 runners in both men and women's to complete the course.

Brockman placed 13th for the women's 6,000 meter course with a time of 21:55.93.

Price placed eighth with a time of 24:54.72 on the men's 8,000 meter course. Price also set a record with the highest individual place for a Baylor male in Big 12 Conference history.

According to Price, the race was a good learning experience for the team and it will help them to be better for next year.

Cross country runners never get a break from training. It's a year-round commitment. But Crawford junior Cody Wells said the hardest part is keeping focused and keeping faith.

Price agreed and said running is a mental game.

"Just coming and dealing with all of the adversity they've dealt with ... there were some gutsy performance on both sides," Capron said.

The championships were run at the Stateland Cross Country Course.

Several teammates agreed it was a good cross country course.

"I liked [the course]; there were a lot of hills, but it was a fast course," Monique Ortega, an El Paso sophomore, said.

Ortega finished in 21st place with a time of 22:18.29. Following her with a time of 22:19.82, Jessica Chance, a Southlake senior, finished in 24th place.

Lyndsy Bedell, a Plano freshman, finished 34th with a time of 22:48.90. Seconds later, Lauren Hagans, a Little Rock, Ark., freshman, placed 35th with a time of 22:54.53.

At 46th place, Alissa McKaig, a New Haven, Ind., freshman, ran the course with a time of 23:26.67.

And with a time of 23:28.97, Brittany McGuire, a Humble sophomore, got 49th place.

For the men's cross country team, Wells placed 45th with a time if 26:03.74. Followed by Luis Gutierrez, a Corpus Christi freshman, who ran a 26:07.59, in 48th place.

Mitch Sanders, a Katy freshman, ran a 26:35.70 in 60th place. Next, Greenwood Village junior Jason Baker finished 69th with 26:56.66.

Finishing up for the Bears, Jacob Jones, a Willis freshman, ran 27:27.77 at 76th place.

Now, the team is training for the next step on the road to nationals, the NCAA South Central Regional. Baylor will host the regional on Nov. 13, at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.

"I get really nervous -- not just the day before -- but the week before," Brockman said, "I'm already nervous for regionals."

Runners are allowed to train on the regional course, but according to Price, the advantage might not be theirs.

"Sometimes you can run too much on a course, you can get tired of it or you can just get burned out running it all the time. But knowing the course in and out can be an advantage, though. Hopefully that'll be the case for us," Price said.

The top two teams from men and women's will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.