Oct. 13, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The shorthanded UT Arlington men's cross country team placed sixth, while the women's team took 17th, at the prestigious Chile Pepper Festival. It was the final tune-up of the season for the Mavericks prior to the Western Athletic Conference Championships in two weeks.
The UTA men's squad, ranked seventh in the most recent regional rankings, was without the services of its top runner, freshman Virgilio Martinez. Martinez made the trip, but was unable to participate due to illness.
As a result, sophomore Ryan Tilotta, also a newcomer to the team, took over as the team's top finisher, placing 40th in 31:59 over the 10k course.
The depth of the Mavericks showed, as the team also grabbed three of the next 14 spots courtesy of senior Cody Widener (43rd, 32:01,) freshman Craig Lautenslager (47th, 32:05) and sophomore Emil Blomberg(47th, 32:05).
The Mavericks' final point scorer was Hance Loyd, who landed in the 88th position in 32:44. As a result of counting its top five finishers, UTA closed with 207 points, just 34 behind the third-place score and good for sixth out of 34 schools.
On the women's side, sophomore Hannah Nilsson continued her reign as the team's top finisher for the fourth consecutive meet. She placed 49th overall with a clocking of 22:25 in the 6k circuit. Freshman Gabriela Alfonzowas also among the top 100 runners, as she crossed in 84th place with a time of 22:49.
The women netted a team total of 541 point to finish 17th out of 43 schools.
The cross country teams will now get ready for the WAC Championships, set for Oct. 27, in Ruston, La.
XC: Cross country duo caps impressive year at NCAAs
XC: Guerrero, Lautenslager set for NCAA Championships
XC: Men place third as two earn spots at NCAA Championships
XC: Region's best await UTA runners
XC: Men repeat as Sun Belt champions
XC: Long path leads to Saturday SBC meet