Runner earns weekly award

Senior Maggie Montoya runs during the Bear Twilight Invitational on Sept. 1 in Waco. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Baylor women’s cross country runner Maggie Montoya received the first Big 12 Runner of the Week honor of her career on Wednesday. Montoya’s 11th place performance at the prestigious Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday gave Baylor its first conference honor of the season.

The native of Rogers, Ark., ran at a blistering pace to finish with a time of 19:56.0 in the 6,000-meter course. Montoya was in 20th place after the 4,000-meter mark, but the junior had a strong finish to move up the leaderboard and set a new personal-best time in the event.

The notable showcase from Montoya, who beat her previous personal-best for 6,000 meters by more than 35 seconds, brings about anticipation for the upcoming Big 12 Championship, which is less than two weeks away.

Montoya’s individual time gave the team a point total of 671, ranking 30th at the ultra-competitive meet. Thirty-six schools competed in the event, including five top-10 teams.

It had been nearly a year since Baylor’s last conference weekly award winner was recognized (Peyton Thomas). Baylor has had 22 female runners honored during its 19-year history in the Big 12.

The women’s cross country team will have a week off to prepare for the Big 12 Championship meet on Oct. 31 in Stillwater, Okla. Montoya will look to carry the momentum gained from last weekend into the event where she set her previous personal-best time (2014 Big 12 Championship).