Texas Border Business
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sophomore Abraham Chirchir punched his return ticket to the NCAA Championships to put an exclamation point on a big day for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) men’s and women’s cross country teams at the NCAA South Central Regional on Friday at Agri Park.
Chirchir finished sixth out of 156 in the 10K with a personal record time of 30:12.2, the sixth-fastest in program history. The top two teams and the top four runners not affiliated with those teams advance to the NCAA Championships. Texas, the No. 29 team in the nation, placed three runners in the top five to win the regional championship. Arkansas came in second with one runner ahead of Chirchir.
Chirchir will compete in the 10K at the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row on Nov. 23 at 12:15 p.m. at Indiana State.
As a team, UTRGV came in seventh out of 22 with 226 points and an average time of 31:39, behind only Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Lamar, Rice and Arkansas State. UTRGV placed five runners in the top half.
In his first-career 10K, freshman Alex Munoz finished 26th with a time of 31:16.9. Junior Weslaco alum Juan Manzano came in 60th with a personal record time of 32:04.7. Senior Omer Almogplaced 65th with a personal record time of 32:15.4. Senior La Joya alum Ricardo Mendoza finished 69th with a personal record time of 32:27.0.
On the women’s side, UTRGV, which had fallen out of the regional rankings entering the meet, stunned the field by finishing in fourth out of 22 with 164 points and an average time of 22:07.18. UTRGV finished behind only Arkansas (15 points), the No. 1 team in the nation, Texas (63 points), which is receiving votes in the national poll, and Texas A&M (106 points).
Sophomore Dorcas Koech finished 12th out of 150 in the 6K with a time of 21:16.4, the sixth-best in program history. Koech finished one spot shy of an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, as seven of the runners ahead of her were from Arkansas and Texas, which qualified as teams, meaning the four remaining runners in front of her qualified as well. Koech was closest to Texas A&M’s Ashley Driscoll, who finished 11th with a time of 21:01.0.
UTRGV had five runners finish in the top third. Senior Sierra Spinler came in 29th with a personal record time of 22:08.6. Freshman Sharon Koima finished 33rd with a time of 22:13.3. Senior Edinburg North alum Bryana Rios placed 45th with a time of 22:27.1. Junior PSJA Southwest alum Alma Villanueva came in 46th with a time of 22:30.5.
UTRGV Men’s Cross Country Results (10K)
Men’s Team Results
|1.||No. 29 Texas||39|
|15.||Stephen F. Austin||351|
UTRGV Women’s Cross Country Results (6K)
Women’s Team Results
|1.||No. 1 Arkansas||15|
|7.||Stephen F. Austin||237|