By Laurean Love
The men’s cross country team has started off with a bang, taking first at the UTA Season Opener last Saturday and second place at the Bear Twilight Invitational Sept. 1.
Sophomore Brad Miles earned the Big 12 Men’s Runner of the Week honor after he outdistanced the field by 14 seconds and helped the men’s team to a win at the UTA Season Opener.
“We have put in a lot of miles for preparation this week and I think it will be a great race for the whole team,” Miles said.
Miles is the first to earn this honor since Rob Morrow in 2006. He is also the fifth in the Baylor’s men’s team. Prior to Morrow was Bo Price in 2004 and Matt Chance and Ferenc Bekesi in 2001 for the men’s team.
“Brad got thrown in last year, my freshman guy, into the meat grinder and he got beat up a little, but I think he knows what he is getting into this year,” Coach Jon Capron said. “He has responded pretty well and stepped up very well. I expect big things from him.”
However, the last Baylor student-athletes to earn this award were Nichole Jones and Erin Bedell in 2008.
Miles led the four-mile course with a time of 20:26 and was followed by freshman Derwin Graham with a time of 20:44. Graham said he wanted to stay close to the leader and was happy with his results.
Along with Miles and Graham, freshman Alex Le Roux had had an impressive finish in his first two collegiate with two top 11 finishes. Sophomores Jonathan Tijerina and Taylor Jackson have also stepped up and formed the top five for the team.
This was the second year in a row for the men’s team to win the UTA Season Opener. After the men’s team lost five seniors, it have been working hard to rebuild with a very young team.
At the Bear Twilight Invitational, the weather seemed to be a big issue. When the race started, it was 101 degrees when they had been used to running at 6:30 in the morning.
The Baylor Invitational will be at the same time as the UTA Season opener, was, so the weather should not be as big of an issue.
“This 80 degree weather is feeling nice and crisp for the team,” Miles jokingly said.
Baylor will be home this weekend hosting the Baylor Invitational. The course was originally scheduled for the Bear Run Cross Country Course in North Waco, but brush fires from the dry conditions forced the relocation to campus. The meet will begin with the women’s 4,000-meter loop at 8 a.m., and the men’s 6,000-meter loop will follow at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the BU Intramural Fields.