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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Cross Country

Cougars distance runners boast experience, acclaim


Junior Brian Barraza anchors a deep group of distance runners, with hopes of building off an already-successful career at UH. | File photo/The Cougar

The UH men’s track and field distance runners are some of the fittest students at the University.

These three men have already ran more miles than many people could possibly imagine doing. They are exactly the type of competitors the team needs in order to succeed.

Junior Brian Barraza

Barraza has the distinction of being one of multiple people on the track and field team who has taken three University records, including the Indoor 3000-meter, the Indoor 5000-meter and the Outdoor 5000-meter.

Last season was a historic campaign for Barraza, as he became the first Cougar since 2011 to qualify for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Cross Country National Championships.

His success then spring-boarded him into the track season where he continued his achievements.

At the Indoor and Outdoor American Athletic Conference Championships, Barraza set the school record in 3000-meter and 5000-meter events at the respective meets, finishing runner-up in both.

The 3000-meter achievement was significant because it was his own record that Barraza broke.

Consequently, he earned All-AAC honors for the second straight year.

Now, Barraza will be looking to actually win these events and help his team on their quest for NCAA glory.

Senior Trevor Walker

On the surface, Walker’s accolades are not as impressive, but if you look closely you will find that he has been a hard worker since day one, helping the Cougars score vital points.

In regard to cross country, Walker is coming off his most successful season, competing for the team at the AAC championships and helping them to a third place finish.

Walker was primed for the cross country) season following his best campaign on the track, wherein he helped the Cougars win their first AAC championship. He consequently earned all-conference honors for his participation in the relay.

Walker will now be looking to score valuable points.

Freshman Gerardo Javier Reyna

Reyna is one of the many highly ranked recruits who will be looking to make an impact in their freshman campaigns.

Reyna was a four-year letterman for both the Cross Country and Track and Field teams for Veterans Memorial High School.

Reyna qualified for the Cross Country State Championships from 2012 to 2014 and earned second team All-State selections in 2012 and 2014.

It’s clear that the athleticism is there. It’s just a matter of time before Reyna can hone his skills, translating to the grander stages of Cougar athletics.

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