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Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Chirchir Punches Return Ticket to NCAA Cross Country Championships


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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).

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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)

6.Abraham Chirchir30:12.2
26.Alex Munoz31:16.9
60.Juan Manzano32:04.7
65.Omer Almog32:15.4
69.Ricardo Mendoza32:27.0
77.Tristan Pena32:36.4
115.Edward Ramos33:24.4

Men’s Team Results

1.No. 29 Texas39
3.Texas A&M128
6.Arkansas State221
9.UT Arlington280
12.McNeese State320
13.North Texas328
14.Abilene Christian336
15.Stephen F. Austin351
16.Corpus Christi358
17.Incarnate Word363
18.Southeast Louisiana431
20.Texas Southern539
21.Little Rock604
22.Nicholls State673

UTRGV Women’s Cross Country Results (6K)

11.Dorcas Koech21:16.4
29.Sierra Spinler22:08.6
33.Sharon Koima22:13.3
45.Bryana Rios22:27.1
46.Alma Villanueva22:30.5
93.Anahi Romo23:28.2

Women’s Team Results

1.No. 1 Arkansas15
2.(RV) Texas63
3.Texas A&M106
6.Arkansas State186
7.Stephen F. Austin237
10.UT Arlington335
11.Abilene Christian341
13.Central Arkansas363
14.Incarnate Word366
15.Corpus Christi384
17.North Texas418
20.Little Rock509
21.McNeese State560
22.Nicholls State662
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