FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - For the 16th time in program history, the Baylor women's cross country team is headed to the NCAA Championships, after earning an automatic berth to that event with a second-place showing in the NCAA South Central Region Championship Friday at Agri Park.
The Baylor women were led by senior Maggie Montoya (20:21.7) and sophomore Lindsey Bradley (20:24.6), who were second and third, respectively, in the 6,000-meter race. Those two Bears were half of the BU contingent that earned All-Region honors as freshman Anna West (9th, 20:47.7) and senior Peyton Thomas (13, 20:51.7) also finished inside the top-25 runners in the 144-athlete field.
Freshman Gabby Satterlee rounded out the scoring runners for Baylor with a 35th-place showing in 21:45.1.Those five runners totaled 62 team points to finish 14 points behind first place Arkansas and 31 points ahead of third place Rice.
On the men's side, freshman Devin Meyrer led the way with a 17th-place finish in 31:03.7 to earn All-Region honors. Behind Meyrer, Jordan West was 30th with a time of 31:29.0. Meanwhile, Eric Anderson (31:44.6) and Matt League (31:49.0) were 36th and 42nd, respectively in the 10,000-meter race. BU's final scoring runner was Sam Sahli, who placed 62nd with a time of 32:17.0.
As a team, the Baylor men tallied 170 points to finish in fifth behind Texas A&M's 150 point total and ahead of Lamar's 184-point mark. It was BU's best finish for the men, since they were fourth in 2010.
Baylor earned the 16th NCAA Championship in program history and the ninth in Todd Harbour's 16 years as head cross country coach.
Baylor last took a team to the NCAA Championships in 2014, after the women placed second at that year's regional meet.
The Baylor women's second-place team finish is their seventh runner-up regional finish of the Harbour era.
Montoya has now finished second at the regional meet in consecutive years.
It was the third consecutive All-Region performances of Montoya's career.
Thomas is an All-Region performer for the second-straight year after being seventh last year.
It was the first all-region honors for Bradley and West in their first years competing for BU.
Baylor's four women's All-Region performers tie the number that was achieved in both 2009 and 2014.
Baylor's other runners on the women's side were Madie Zimmerman (80th, 23:14.4) and Hana Marsheck (106th, 24:03.5).
Meyrer is the first BU men's runner to earn All-Region honors in 2013 when Brad Miles finished 23rd.
Meyrer's 17th-place finish is the highest for a BU men's runner at the meet since Bo Price was 15th in 2006.
Baylor's other runners on the men's side were Matt Parham (77th, 32:50.1) and Jeff Kirwin (111th, 34:36.9).
Arkansas and Texas were the men's automatic team qualifiers, while Arkansas and Baylor took the two top spots on the women's side.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a nice bounce back week for us knowing that we had a little bit of a tough time at conference. I thought the ladies responded really well and just did a super job. They did what they needed to do. They took care of business and made sure we were at the NCAA meet. This group has definitely taken some pride in getting us back to the NCAAs. It is not an easy championship to make and Rice ran really, really well. If we had not brought our A-game we would not have been second." - head coach Todd Harbour on the women's race
TOP QUOTE #2
"Devin (Meyrer) had an incredible effort. Doing what he did as a freshman in the 10K is a big ask and he pulled it off. Jordan (West) sponsored the move that kind of got Devin going again in the middle part of that race. If Jordan doesn't go, Devin doesn't make the move that he made to get in the top 25. It was an all-around effort. In his first 10K, I am really proud he ran his race. We are definitely moving in the right direction. We had some things not go our way - Matt Parham fell down, but Sam Sahli was about to cover for him and that is what a team does. When you don't have a perfect day and you place fifth in your region, I think that is a pretty good day. I am really proud of the way they all competed." - assistant head coach Jon Capron on the men's race
The Baylor women will now compete at the 2016 NCAA Championship, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, in Terre Haute, Ind.