PORTALES – The West Texas A&M cross country teams turned October 26th of last year into Championship Saturday as both program’s claimed the Lone Star Conference Cross Country Championships at the league’s annual title meet held at Blackwater Draw in Portales, New Mexico. It marked the second straight crown for the Lady Buffs while the Buffs claimed the program’s first title.
The Lady Buffs took the decisive victory as it scored 35 points overall, featuring an average time per runner at 22:50.58. Tarleton State, who owned the top two finishers, placed second as a team with 55 points. Midwestern State followed in third at 77 points while Eastern New Mexico took fourth 83 points. Texas A&M Commerce, Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville rounded off the competition in fifth through seventh places, respectively.
Mireia Guarner crossed the line first for the Lady Buffs in third place out of the 53-athlete field at 22:29.00, Haley Sparks followed quickly in fifth place at 22:39.40. Senior Amber Moore took seventh place with an outstanding finish as she overtook Bayleigh Baker of Eastern New Mexico with only 30 yards left until the finish line. Junior Emma Love, the LSC Academic Runner of the Year, crossed next for WT in ninth followed by freshman Carley Glass in 11th and junior Michaela Johnson in 15th. All six of the Lady Buffs who raced finished in the top-15 meaning that each runner earned LSC All-Conference honors.
On the men’s side, the Buffs scored 22 points to take first place. Last year's champion, Eastern New Mexico, finished second as a team with a score of 67. WT was able to set the tone strong as a team as it crossed its top-10 runners ahead of the Greyhounds' fourth runner to secure the title. In third was Texas A&M-Commerce with 88 points while Cameron finished fourth with 108 points. Tarleton State, Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville rounded out the group in fifth through seventh places, respectively.
WT’s Dylan Doss claimed the LSC Individual title with a time of 25:18.30 as the team owned the top two runners while placing three of the top-four finishers in the event. Junior Anthony Baumal crossed second overall with a time of 25:30.80 while freshman Steve Lagat took the lead around the 4K mark as he paced the pack through one-third of the race. He ended up placing fourth overall as he crossed the line at 25:49.90. During the last mile, Doss and Baumal made their move to propel to the front of the field which consisted of 55 runners.
Baumal's second-place finish earned him LSC Newcomer of the Year honors while Lagat was the first freshman to cross the line, making him the LSC Freshman of the Year. Each of the top-15 finishers from the meet earned LSC All-Conference honors. Besides Doss, Baumal and Lagat, sophomore Lucas Marquez and juniors Baptiste Moreu, Cameron Gifford and Brett Villareal also took home the honors. Marquez finished in seventh place with a time of 25:58.70 while Moreu crossed next in eighth place at 26:05.70. Gifford would finish 12th and Villarreal at 15th to round out the top-15 spots.