COLLEGE STATION – Sam Houston State closed its regular season in a strong way, boasting a combined six top-25 finishers including a trio of top-10 results on Friday night at the Aggieland Open.
The Sam Houston men, led by Jordan Leon’s fourth-place result, took third among the eight-team field while the Bearkat women brought home fourth thanks to Hannah Tarrant’s fifth-place finisher. Both teams were running the 5,000K for the first time this season.
The next time the Kats take the course following Friday will be at the Southland Conference Championships, held Oct. 26 in Abilene. A season ago, the Bearkat women secured runner-up while the men finished fifth.
TARRANT PACES WOMEN
Sam Houston’s Hannah Tarrant capped her regular season with a strong result, taking fifth among 59 competitors. The junior ran 19:17.6 while besting competitors from Texas A&M, Baylor, UTSA and ULM among others.
Meaghen Seales followed in 18th with a mark of 20:17.3, moving ahead 13 spots after the opening 2K. Meanwhile, Hailey Chorn and Jamie Eckford took 33rd and 34th respectively with marks of 21:05.8 and 21:07.2.
Sophomore teammates Kassandra Luna secured 42nd (22:02.3) and Denise Jones went 43rd (22:06.3). As a team, the Bearkats secured 110 points, two behind Baylor, to finish fourth among the eight-team field. Texas A&M won its host event with 24 points while taking four of the top-five spots individually.
LEON LEADS BEARKAT MEN
For the third time in as many races, Jordan Leon set the pace for Sam Houston, capturing fourth place among 73 competitors to help Sam Houston to a third-place team finish. The junior took home a 6:04.4 mark and finished less than a second off the lead.
David Zavala was also right in the mix, finishing 10th with a time of 6:05.8. The freshman moved ahead five spots over the final 3K while finishing third among all freshmen competitors. Alex Hernandez was close behind, taking 14th at 6:14.5.
Elsewhere, Jeffrey Moore brought home 21st after sitting in 38th through the 2K mark. The junior finished with a time of 6:21.4 while Grant Buley followed in 28th at 6:21.6. Cameron Theriot also took 51st for the Bearkats (6:34.2) while freshman Stephen Southall went 62nd (6:34.2).
Tarleton State won the team title with 37 points followed by runner-up Texas A&M at 42. The Bearkats posted 63 points, finishing a wide margin ahead of ULM in fourth (118) and Prairie View in fifth (126).
Head coach Jesse Parker on the women’s performance…
“For the women, Hannah Tarrant ran another really good race. She’s been getting more consistent with each of her performances and I think she still has her best races ahead of her this season. I was also pleased with Meaghen Seales. She started the race a bit more conservatively than she has in the past but that allowed her to run better over the final portion of the race and ultimately have a faster overall time. We still have some work to do and we need someone to step up to round out our top-5 but I think we’ll see that happen in the coming weeks.”
Head coach Jesse Parker on the men’s performance…
“For the men, I was very pleased with how the top-3 ran. Jordan and Alex have been rock solid for us since the beginning but David Zavala has really come along and gives us a great 1-2-3. Grant Buley and Jeffrey Moore have been getting better each week, we just need for them to continue getting better going into conference and regionals. I feel very good about how the men look in their workouts, we just need to stay focused and keep getting better.”