By Laurean Love
Baylor cross country began the season well, with the women coming in first and the men finishing as runners-up.
The Baylor cross-country team had its first of three home meets at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex Thursday as host of the Bear Twilight Invitational.
The meet started with the women running a 4,000-meter loop and the men a 6,000-meter loop.
Senior Cate Westenhover, previous NCAA championship qualifier, led the women’s team to their first-place title with a time of 14:06.3, while the men’s team finished second.
“It was a really good meet on both sides,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “I’m proud of the way our men and women came out and competed.”
Westenhover was followed by three freshmen: Rachel Johnson, Bree Schrader and Erin Hegarty. Johnson, 2010 Nike national champion, had a time of 14:13.1.
The Lady Bears got 17 points total which gave them a 58-point lead over Texas State followed by Texas A&M and Dallas Baptist.
“We wanted to win, but this isn’t a big-deal meet yet this one does not count for nationals,” Westenhover said. “Just to get the legs going and good effort.”
Senior Kristen Hanselka rounded out the top five with an eighth-place finish, turning in a time of 14:45.1.
The BU men took second place overall behind Texas A&M with a total of 40 points.
Sophomore Brad Miles placed fourth with a time of 18:57.8.
Junior Taylor Jackson, 19:19.3, and freshman Derwin Graham, 19:20.5, also finished in the top 10. For much of the men’s team, this was their first collegiate meet.
The weather was an obstacle for the men and women to overcome; when the race started it was 101 degrees.
Miles jokingly said, “It’s not this warm at 6:30 in the morning.”
Baylor continues the season with its first meet on the road at UT-Arlington Saturday.
Cross country returns to Waco Saturday, Sept. 17, with the Baylor Invitational. Events starts at 8 a.m.