Cross Country Sports

Cross country completes conference championships

Senior Britani Gonzales led the cross country team in the 6000m race with a time of 23:45.87 to finish No. 24 in the race. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Postseason is an exciting time of year for every sport, and that is no different for the Houston men’s and women’s cross country teams, which competed in the American Championships Thursday in New Orleans at Audubon Park.

The women’s team ran first at 8 a.m., which was two hours ahead of schedule due to the threat of inclement weather.

Leading the charge as the first Cougar across the line in the 6000m race was senior Britani Gonzales, coming in No. 24 with a time of 23:45.87.

Freshman Regan Lobodzinski and redshirt junior Meredith Sorensen were neck-and-neck throughout the three-loop race, finishing within seconds of each other. Lobodzinski completed the race in 24:13.27, and Sorensen came in four seconds later at 24:17.61, granting them the No. 36 and No. 37 places, respectively.

Junior Jahnavi Schneider finished less than 10 spots later at No. 46 with a time of 24:51.84, while senior Jennifer Dunlap was the final Cougar to place as No. 56 with a time of 25:12.66.

As a team, the women scored 197 points to place No. 7 out of 12 teams, which marks its highest finish in a championship meet since claiming the No. 6 spot in 2014.

The men took to the field immediately after the women with freshman Gabriel Armijo at the front of the 8000m campaign in his first conference meet, finishing at No. 37 in 29:22.21.

Fellow true-freshman Devin Vallejo-Bannister crossed the line next in 29:40.04 to place No. 45, while sophomore Devin Fahey came in a handful of places down the line at No. 50 in 29:58.60.

Redshirt sophomore Nicholas Hamilton finished just four seconds behind Fahey, completing the 8000m race in 30:02.86 to earn place No. 52. Redshirt freshman Nicholas Fernandes rounded out Houston’s scoring with a No. 57 finish in 30:24.45.

The Cougar men tallied 220 points to finish No. 9 overall out of the 10 competing teams.

With its first postseason meet in the books, the Cougars now look toward the NCAA South Central Regional meet in College Station at Watts Cross Country Course on Nov. 9.

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