WACO, Texas - The Baylor women's cross country squad, led by the All-Big 12 performance of junior Rachel Johnson earned its highest finish since 2008 with a tie for fifth, while the men's team placed seventh on Saturday in the 18th-annual Big 12 Cross Country Championships at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
Johnson, who earned all-league honors for a second straight season, placed 10th overall in a career-best time of 20:55.1 on the 6,000-meter course. Behind Johnson freshman Maggie Montoya was 20th in a time of 21:24.0, while fellow freshman Alex Davis was a little over five seconds back with a time of 21:29.1 for 22nd. Baylor's final two scoring runners were Mariah Kelly (21:44.9) and Erin Hegarty (21:47.4) in 36th and 39th place, respectively. Those five runners totaled a team score of 123 to tie K-State for fifth. The Lady Bears were just two points behind Texas (121) and seven points behind Oklahoma State for third (116).
All five of the Baylor men's scoring runners finished in the top 51 of the 81-person field. The group was led by the 39th-place finish of senior Brad Miles, who covered the 8,000-meter course in 24:29.6.
Junior Derwin Graham posted a season-best time in the 8K by nearly 90 seconds with a 41st-place finish in 24:32.5 to be BU's second scoring runner. Senior Jonathan Tijerina was the next Bear to cross the finish line with a season-best time of 24:50.0. A pair of sophomores Matthew Cochran and J.R. Hardy made up Baylor's final two scoring runners with time of 24:59.2 and 25:13.4 to finish 50th and 51st, respectively.
As a team, the Baylor men tallied 196 points to finish in seventh behind Kansas' 123 point total and ahead of Kansas State's 259 point mark.
- Miles, who posted his best eight-kilometer time of the season, has been the top BU runner in all five of his fall races.
- The men's seventh-place finish ties its showing from last season, which was the highest since 2004.
- Oklahoma State took the men's title for a sixth-straight year with 33 points and five runners in the top 12.
- Johnson, who posted her best six-kilometer time of her career, has been the top BU runner in all five of her races this fall.
- Johnson improved on last year's Big 12 finish by three places and over 22 seconds.
- The women's fifth-place finish was its best finish since a second-place showing in 2008.
- Iowa State took the women's title for a third straight year with 35 points and five runners in the top 15.
TOP QUOTE #1
"For the ladies we were just a couple points out of third place. We were hoping to finish a little higher than tied for fifth, but overall it was a good day. Rachel had a great race. Then we had two freshman right behind her. The nice they is there are no seniors on the team, so we get everyone back." - head coach Todd Harbour on the women's team
TOP QUOTE #2
"We were hoping that things would go a little better and we could sneak up into sixth. Our guys rain a really solid race and took it out really fast. We are excited about regionals to have two more kilometers to be able pick off a few more people. Derwin Graham steeped up big today to have him right there with Brad is really encouraging." - assistant coach Jon Capron on the men's team
The Bears and Lady Bears will take next week off, before hosting the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Nov. 15 at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. Each team will send its top seven runners to the event in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships.