Oct. 4, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington cross country teams took on a stiff challenge on Friday, competing in the 58th Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., in preparation for the Sun Belt Conference Championships in four weeks.
The women, ranked 10th in the most recent USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings, enjoyed another solid performance, placing ninth out of 26 teams in the Gold Division race. The women had a total of 285 points.
Gabriela Alfonzo led the way for the Mavericks for the second time in three meets this fall. The sophomore placed 20th with a clocking of 18:18.7 over the 5k layout.
Katelyn Hayward (18:49.2) and Ashly Wright (18:49.3) crossed the line side-by-side in 57th and 58th place, respectively, to place second and third among the UTA squad. Just seconds behind was Sydney Hampton, who came in 64th (18:52.8).
Hannah Nilsson, the team's leader last weekend, was the Mavs' fifth finisher and the 91st overall runner (19:14.6). Courtney Mose (19:58.1, 152nd) and Alison Williams (20:07.8, 168th) rounded out the women's roster.
In the final race of the day, the men's team, which earned a place in the prestigious Blue Division, placed 24th with 586 points. The talented field included eight schools ranked among the USTFCCCA's top 30.
Craig Lautenslager topped the Mavs for the second time in his career, and first since last year's NCAA Regionals, finishing 72nd individually. The sophomore completed the 5-mile jaunt with a clocking of 25:30.0.
Ryan Tilotta, who was the team's top finisher in the first two meets of the year, took 85th in 25:39.5. Finishing out the scorers for UTA were Eric Ojeda, who placed 129th (26:07.9), Emil Blomberg (144th, 26:17.7) and Aaron Purser (182nd, 27:01.7).
Grant Copeland (207th, 28:48.2) was the final Maverick to finish. UTA was dealt a major setback when one of its standout runners, Virgilio Martinez, fell during the race and was unable to finish due to injury.
UTA is now off from competition until Friday, Oct. 18 when it will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to compete in the Crimson Classic. That will be the team's final event prior to the Sun Belt Conference Championships Nov. 2 in Troy, Ala.
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