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BU earns two NCAA championship berths

Nov. 16, 2010

Matt Hellman | Lariat Photographer
Junior Cate Westenhover runs in the NCAA South Central Regional Saturday at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. She finished fourth overall.

By Krista Pirtle

Junior cross country runner Cate Westhenhover and freshman Robyn Bennett each ran their way to all-region performances at Saturday's NCAA South Central Regional meet in Waco, earning berths in the NCAA Championships. Senior Robbie Knorr earned all-region honors for the men, leading his team to a fourth- place team finish as he crossed the line in 18th place with a time of 30:57.3.

"Coach told me earlier this week to be dumb. Act like a horse. Just run. But I'm really excited about going to the championships. I really wanted it to be our team, but I am happy that I still get to run there," Westenhover said.

The women's team matched the men's fourth-place team finish, six points behind Arkansas, as Texas took the women's title with 42 points and Rice followed with 73.

Westhenhover led the way for Baylor with a fourth place overall finish in a time of 20:29.2, followed by Bennett in seventh at 20:46.7.

Then came senior Katie Shaw, who also earned all-region honors in 23rd.

Juniors Samantha Patty and Kristen Hanselka finished 35th and 36th, respectively.

"We had different words we were remembering for each [1,000 meters]. The beginning we just stayed relaxed, and the second one we tried to pack up. The third we were just going to kind of gut it out just go get it. In the middle we were just going think about the summer, the work we put in. Then, getting close to the finish, we were thinking about the Lord. Just thinking about rejoicing and loving God and feeling the presence of Jesus when you're running. And then at the end was just finish, gut it out," Shaw said.

On the men's side, seniors Brandon White and Ben Haby finished 33rd and 34th. White crossed in 31:22.9, and Haby followed one half second later. Junior Zac Flowers came across the line fourth for the Bears with a time of 31:32.0, and junior Brandon Reed rounded out the top five for the Bears with a 42nd-place finish in 31:36.9.

"They ran extremely well. I think they all [set personal records]. So that's all you can ask," coach Todd Harbour said. "I mean you run hard and if it's not good enough, it's not good enough. I was extremely proud of the way both teams battled today. We showed lots of heart today, and it's a good note to end the season on for everybody except Cate and Robyn, who get to run at nationals."

Westenhover and Bennett will head to Terre Haute, Ind., on Tuesday, Nov. 23 to compete in the NCAA Championships.