By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor women’s cross country finished third and the men’s team finished sixth at the 19th annual Big 12 Cross Country Championships in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday. In addition, three Lady Bear runners garnered All-Big 12 honors- senior Rachel Johnson, senior Mariah Kelly and sophomore Maggie Montoya.
Led by Johnson, Kelly and Montoya, Baylor women’s cross country had a strong showing at the Big 12 Championships this weekend.
In her third consecutive season earning All-Big 12 recognition, Johnson ran a career-best time of 20:15.1 on the 6,000-meter course on Saturday, finishing third overall. Montoya was right behind Johnson (20:32.3), coming in seventh. Kelly finished 14th (20:55.2).
Iowa State took the crown for the fourth-straight year. Baylor’s five runners totaled a team score of 70, just behind the second-place West Virginia (58).
“All our girls ran big,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “I was very pleased. Rachel was a little bit off. We were 12 points behind a really good West Virginia team. It is not an easy course. It has some hills and it was very cold up.”
Across the board, the Bears were neck-and-neck with each other in the final results on Saturday. Junior Kyle Scanlan led the Bears with a time of 25:28.9. Freshman Eric Anderson was just one spot back (25:32.1) for 42nd place.
Senior Matt Galvin (25:38.1) and senior Derwin Graham (25:42.1) also finished just one spot apart in 46th and 47th respectively. Sophomore Jordan West was the final scoring runner of the Bears with a time of 25:54.1 to be 54th.
Totalling 191 points, the Bears earned their highest cross country team finish (sixth) since 2003. Oklahoma State won their eighth consecutive Big 12 title on Saturday. After the University of Colorado’s departure from the Big 12 years ago, OSU has dominated in men’s cross country, winning every single men’s Big 12 title since 2008.
“I was happy with way our guys raced,” assistant coach Jon Capron said. “They were all very competitive. Kyle has run really well for us the last couple of races and it was great to see him and Eric up there, but I was most pleased with the rest of my crew being right there behind them. Getting those guys to pack up like they did will pay big dividends down the road.”