Baylor cross country dominated the podium of the Bear Invitation Tournament on Tuesday at the H.O.T. Soccer Complex in Waco. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed on the podium on Tuesday.
The Lady Bears cross country team captured its ninth consecutive Bear Invitational Tournament on Tuesday.
The Lady Bears placed three runners in the top eight in the 4,000-meter race. Junior Maggie Montoya captured the individual title with a time 13:24.4.
Cat Westenhover Barrett, a former Lady Bear runner who won the Invitational twice herself in 2010 and 2011, ran alongside the collegiate athletes. With Barrett setting a competitive pace early, Montoya got out to a blazing start, posting a 5:22 first mile.
“I got out a little too fast. Sometimes, I can be off on pacing, but I was really excited to be out here and running next to Cate. I was like, ‘Oh, this is fun,’” Montoya said.
Junior Peyton Thomas (13:59.7) was the only other collegiate athlete to run under 14 minutes, earning her a second-place finish among the collegiate athletes and fourth overall. Returning All-Conference junior runner Alex Davis (14:21.0) also placed eighth overall for the Lady Bears.
Head coach Todd Harbour expressed joy in seeing his team, and individual runners, compete at a very high level to start the season.
“Maggie is in great shape right now,” Harbour said. “She is coming off of a great outdoor season. I am very proud of the way she ran. She looked very controlled. Peyton Thomas did a super job as she is in great shape.”
Despite holding out three runners, the men also performed well in their 6,000-meter race, placing second overall out of five teams in the season opening meet.
Sophomor Eric Anderson posted the best time amongst the men with a time of 18:43.2 en route to a seventh-place finish. Junior Matt League, a transfer from Northern Arizona (18:49.5), and sophomore Matt Parham (19:14.7), finished eighth and twelfth respectively.
“Our team ran well, [but] I still need to find a little bit from the guys,” assistant coach Jon Capron said. “[I have] got some guys that weren’t running today that are going to help out a ton. From the ones that did run, I thought I got a pretty good showing.”
Capron chose not to run senior Matt Galvin and JR Hardy as well as junior Jordan West, all three of which were in the top six on the Bears’ team last season. All three runners hope to compete in the Bears’ next meet as soon as possible.
With three of their top six returning later in the season, the Bears should be very competitive in the conference and the South Central Region this season.
Both the women and the men take a weekend off and will take place on Sept. 12 for the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton.