Southland Conference XC Championships
Friday, Oct. 28 • Nacogdoches, Texas • Pecan Acres Park
Men’s 8K Championship • Complete Results
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Sam Houston State’s Chris Speaks paced action for the men’s cross country program at the Southland Conference Championships, taking ninth overall while the Bearkats put together a fifth place finisher on Friday from Pecan Acres Park.
The Bearkats fifth-place result was the program’s best finish since 2008. Speaks posted a mark of 24:38.7, while Sam Houston finished with three athletes in the top 20. The mark was a personal best for the senior and secured the first top-10 finish for a Bearkat in 10 seasons. With the result, the Coldsprings product was named Second-Team All-Southland Conference.
Teammate Evan Arambula finished closely behind, taking 15th at 24:58.4, while Grant Buley secured 20th with a time of 25:05.3. Likewise, the result also marked a personal best for Arambula coming in the senior’s final Southland Conference Championship. Buley, a junior, also secured a career best.
Sam Houston’s Jeffrey Moore took home a top-30 finish, taking 29th at 25:24.0 while Alex Hernandez secured 58th at 26:20.1. John Bound finished 64th (26:40.8) followed by Cameron Theriot (26:42.2) in 65th and Robert Monticone in 68th (26:50.8).
The Lamar men captured the Southland Championship for the fourth straight year while Stephen F. Austin’s Charles Mathenge earned the individual title at 24:11.8.
The NCAA South Central Region Championships at Agri Park in Fayetteville, Ark. on Friday, Nov. 11. For teams and individuals who qualify, the NCAA Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.
Cross country coach Jesse Parker on the result…
“I thought we executed our race plan really well. Typically in these races, the lead group goes out really fast but there’s only a small percentage who can actually maintain it. We did a good job running even splits throughout and moving up really well over the last half of the race.”
Cross country coach Jesse Parker on the effort from Chris Speaks…
“Chris moved up 20 places to move into the top 10 over the last 2 ½ miles. Chris has brought tremendous leadership. You have to have a guy that sets the standard. I think you see that result with the rest of the team. There are a lot of people who can run fast but there aren’t a lot of guys who can make others better.”
Senior Chris Speaks on the championship performance…
“The whole race plan was to sit back and let everyone take it out that first mile. Every conference cross country meet, that first mile is literally the fastest mile of the race. Turning around at the finish line, I saw three other guys behind me and it brightened my day. The whole plan was to race my best and I turned around and knew everyone raced their best.”