XC: Men's cross country earns highest regional ranking ever
Oct. 21, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington men's cross country team vaulted to its highest regional ranking in school history--No. 3 in the South Central Region--following an impressive showing at the Crimson Classic on Friday, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced today.
The Mavericks, listed 15th in the region prior to a runner-up finish among a strong field in Tuscaloosa, Ala., jumped 12 spots to make the biggest move by any team in the country. No other school in any region increased its stock by more than four spots.
"It's nice to be recognized in the rankings, but what really matters to us is how we run at the Sun Belt Conference meet," head coach John Sauerhage said. "This is a talented, capable and hungry group and we hope to be peaking at the right time."
Sophomore Eric Ojeda paced the squad at the Crimson Classic with a season-best 8k time of 25:03.37. All five Mavs point scorers--Ojeda (11th), Ryan Tilotta (13th), Craig Lautenslager (17th), Emil Blomberg (20th) and Virgilio Martinez (29th)--finished among the top 30 at the meet.
UTA is now the highest rated school in the Sun Belt, and ranks behind only Arkansas and Texas in the region. In last week's national top 30 poll the Razorbacks ranked sixth, while the Longhorns were 14th. This week's national rankings will be announced Tuesday.
On the women's side, the Mavericks dropped one spot to No. 14 in the South Central. The Mavs are the second-highest ranked Sun Belt team, behind only Arkansas State (No. 10 in South Central).
UTA is next in action Saturday, Nov. 2 in Troy, Ala., at the Sun Belt Conference Championships. The NCAA South Central Regional will be run on Friday, Nov. 15, in Waco, Texas.