Cross country teams compete in Pre-National Invitational

Evan Pflugradt

The women’s cross country team finished 36th and the men’s cross country team 37th in Pre-Nationals Cross Country Invitational this weekend at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Junior Ugis Jocis led the Shocker men in the 8K with a finish of 24:33.3. Jocis placed 139th in the field of 288 participants.

Senior Paul Raymond followed Jocis, finishing 166th with a time of 24:43.6. Other finishers for the Shockers included sophomore Kyle Larkin, 172nd (24:45.4); redshirt sophomore Gage Garcia, 180th (24:47.2); redshirt junior Brady Johnson, 193rd (24:52.0); sophomore Nathan Wickoren, 217th (25:01.7); and freshman Reno Law, 240th (25:13.2).

Junior Sidney Hirsch led the Shocker women in the 6K. Hirsch’s time of 21:01.0 was enough for a 78th-place finish in the field of 311 participants.

Redshirt junior Emilea Finley finished 132nd with a race time of 21:20.2, which set a career-best 6K time.

Redshirt sophomore Lycia Holton finished 197th (21:43.1), freshman Rebekah Topham 214th (21:47.5), redshirt senior Kayla Deighan 215th (21:47.5), sophomore Jordan Maestas 279th (22:25.7), and junior Sarah Wright 308th (23:27.5).

Coach Kirk Hunter said the team is showing steady signs of improvement, and the women are finishing better each week.

Hunter said he has a lot of faith in Topham. Topham finished 214th in her first collegiate 6K, but Hunter said a minor injury kept her out of the front of the pack.

“[Topham] will have a chance to do well in two weeks at the conference meet,” he said.

The Shockers will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at 8 a.m. Oct. 31 in Evansville, Indiana.