Nov. 15, 2013
WACO, Texas - Baylor women's cross country junior Rachel Johnson earned All-Region honors and a spot in the NCAA Championship field with a fifth-place finish in the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Friday at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
Johnson's finish, along with the All-Region performance of freshman Alex Davis, propelled the Baylor women to a sixth-place team finish. On the men's side, senior Brad Miles also earned All-Region accolades to help the BU men take ninth overall.
Johnson turned in a career-best time of 20:23.8 on the 6,000-meter course to be named All-Region for the second time in her career. The Plano, Texas, native tallied a 19th-place finish at the event in 2011 to take the honor for the first time.
Behind Johnson, Davis improved on her Big 12 meet time by 11 seconds to take 24th in 21:18.1. Another freshman, Maggie Montoya, was the next BU runner across in a time of 21:28.4 to be 30th. Meanwhile, junior Mariah Kelly was close behind with a 36th-place finish in 21:43.6. Baylor's final scoring runner was Erika Overbeck, who finished in 69th-place in a time of 22:38.6.
Those five runners totaled 162 team points to finish eight points behind fifth-place UTSA and 28 points ahead of seventh-place Lamar.
On the men's side, Miles tallied his first All-Region honor with a 23rd-place finish in a time of 31:07.2 on the 10,000-meter course. Matthew Cochran was less than 30 seconds back in 37th-place with a time of 31:35.5. Sophomore JR Hardy was BU's third runner across with a time of 31:59.4 to be 48th. Veterans Jonathan Tijerina (32:17.1) and Derwin Graham (32:38.9) took 57th and 74th, respectively, to be the final two scoring runners.
As a team, the Baylor men tallied 239 points to finish in ninth behind UT-Arlington's 221 point total and ahead of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's 249 point mark.
- Baylor last had an individual make the NCAA Championships in 2010 when women's runners Robyn Bennett and Cate Westenhover represented the Lady Bears.
- Baylor had two women's All-Region performers for the first time since 2010.
- The Baylor men had an All-Region runner for the first time since 2010 when Robbie Knorr was 18th.
- The Baylor men's ninth place team finish is its highest since taking fourth at the meet in 2010.
- The Baylor women's sixth place team finish is one spot better than last season's seventh placing and ties the finish from 2011.
- Miles has been the top BU runner in all six of his fall races.
- Johnson, who posted her best six-kilometer time of her career, has been the top BU runner in all six of her races this fall.
- Arkansas and Texas were the men's automatic team qualifiers, while Arkansas and SMU took the two top spots on the women's side.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a mixed bag of emotions for us today. We are ecstatic for Rachel. She ran a great race today. However, we were hoping to be in that battle for second place. We just weren't quite there today, but we have come a long way." - head coach Todd Harbour on the women's team
TOP QUOTE #2
"I thought the guys did really well. They raced really hard. I am proud of the effort they put forth. They ran very tough and I don't think there is much more that I could have asked of them." - assistant coach Jon Capron on the men's team
Junior Rachel Johnson will compete as an individual at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.