Baylor men and women XC teams finish top three at ACU Invitational

Senior Celia Holmes ACU Naimadu Classic Saturday. Holmes placed sixth in the race as Baylor women's team placed second overall. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics.

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Baylor traveled to Abilene on Saturday to compete in the Abilene Christian University Invitational. The women’s team finished second overall while the men’s team finished third. The Bears are coming into their own under new head coach David Barnett in only their second race of the season.

“The women had a reasonably good pack,” Barnett said. “Some people ran well, and some people could have done better, but that’s part of being [in] the first 6,000-meter race of the year. They actually had to run a little bit longer because they ran the wrong course. All things considered, they competed well. We’re in a pretty heavy training block right now, so I think in a couple weeks we’ll be right where we want to be.”

For the women’s runners, every scoring runner placed in the top 15. Led by sophomore Lily Jacobs in her season debut, she finished fifth with a time of 23:08.8 in the first 6,000-meter race of the year. Right behind her in sixth was senior Celia Holmes with a time of 23:12.3. Senior Mazie Larsen was tenth with a time of 23:41.9, while junior Chloe Gangnath’s time of 23:55.1 put her at No. 14. Freshman Hayden Gold rounded out the top-15 with a time of 23:58.0. The Bears finished second with a total of 48 points.

The men’s team was successful as well, starting with freshman Drew Snyder who finished with a time of 25:07.9, giving him fourth place. Freshman Chris Martinez came in No. 12 at 26:09.4 and senior Philip Roxas took No. 17 with a time of 26:26.9. The men’s team finished with 90 points to give them third overall.

“Several of the men are stepping up in distance to run 8,000 meters,” Barnett said. “I think it was good for them to see what the race was about. For a lot of them, it was their first race ever at this distance. Especially Drew Snyder leading the way, he did awesome. I’m looking forward to getting our top five all together. We’ll have a pretty good group.”

Next up, on Saturday Sept. 25, the Bears will travel back to College Station to compete in the Texas A&M Invitational.