Oct. 27, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - The Baylor men's cross country squad earned its highest finish since 2004 with a seventh-place showing, while the women's team led by the All-Big 12 performance of sophomore Rachel Johnson placed eighth on Saturday in the 17th-annual Big 12 Cross Country Championships at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course.
All five of the Baylor men's scoring runners finished in the top 61 of the 82-person field. The group was led by the 44th-place finish of junior Brad Miles, who covered the 8,000-meter course in 25:24.1. Miles, who posted his best eight-kilometer time of the season, has been the top BU runner in all four of his fall races.
Seniors Taylor Jackson, Blake Niccum and Ben Allen were the next three Bear runners across the finish line. Jackson posted a time of 25:59.9 to rank 53rd, while Niccum (26:20.0) outraced Allen (26:24.7) to line to finish, 57th and 58th, respectively. Freshman Kyle Scanlan was the final scoring Bear with a time of 26:36.5 to finish 61st.
"Our guys got out and went for it today," assistant coach Jon Capron said. "It was a move they had to make and they followed our plan very well. I happy that got rewarded for that with a decent place. Obviously, seventh is not where we want to be going forward, but it is tough when you have those teams with so fire-power up front."
As a team, the Baylor men tallied 216 points to finish in seventh behind Texas Tech's 154 point total and ahead of Kansas State's 233 point mark. The seventh-place showing is the highest since 2004 and ties that squad for the fourth highest in program history. Oklahoma State tallied 24 points to win the men's title for a fifth-straight year with five runners in the top 10.
For the women, Johnson posted Baylor's 19th All-Big 12 finish in the 17-year history of the event. The sophomore cruised through the 6,000-meter course in 21:17.8 to take 13th-place. It is the first time that a BU women's runner has finished in the top 15 since Erin Bedell was eighth in 2009.
"Rachel did very well," head coach Todd Harbour said. "She got out quickly and put herself in a good position. Anytime you can be all-conference in this conference, it is outstanding. I am very proud of her effort today."
Behind Johnson, sophomore Mariah Kelly finished 27th in a time of 21:44.0. Sophomore Bree Schrader (22:18.6) and senior Leah Frazier (22:29.9) both finished in the top 50 of the 87-person field by placing 44th and 49th, respectively. Sophomore Courtney Cox was Baylor's fifth and final scoring runner with a time of 23:26.8 to finish 69th.
"Mariah ran well today and we got solid races from Bree and Leah," Harbour said. "We just had a big drop off after that. The girls did the best they could, we just are disappointed with where we finished. We thought we could have beat a couple more teams, but we just weren't quite good enough today."
Those finishes combined to give BU a team score of 183, which was behind Kansas' 173 point tally and ahead of Oklahoma's 229 point output. Iowa State took the women's title for a second straight year with 34 points and five runners in the top 15.
Both Baylor teams will prepare for the NCAA South Central Regionals, which are on Nov. 9 in Fayetteville, Ark. Each team will send its top seven runners to the event in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17.