Tarleton Sports Information

JOPLIN - The Tarleton men's and women's cross country teams ran in the Missouri Southern Stampede Saturday with the men's team finishing 16th and the women's finishing 17th in the first meet of the year.

"I was pleased with both of our squads today," said Tarleton head coach Pat Ponder. "We had a good first meet, but there are definitely areas where we need to work. Overall, I thought we had a good day."

The Texans were led by Rey Hinojosa with a time of 25:13 as he finished 24th individually. Gerzain Valenzula finished 58th with a time of 25:57. Also running for Tarleton was Travis Fort (26:27.00), Jared McNeil (27:22), Bryan Ruiz (27:30), Kevin Emmert (27:34) and Chris Hearell (27:41).

"The men's gap time was not as good was we would have liked," Ponder said. "They finished with a gap time from one to five of 2:12.29. We are going to have to speed that up, but I believe both groups will be OK when conference rolls around."

The Texans were one of 37 men's teams to compete in Saturday's Stampede. Tarleton's men, who went into the meet ranked No. 10 in the South Central Region, finished fifth among schools competing from the region while placing second in the schools from the Lone Star Conference.

There were 40 different teams represented in the women's event with Tulsa winning the race with 46 points. Missouri Southern was second with 122 points while the TexAnns finished with 476 points.

Claudia Castanon finished with a time of 19:14 to finish in 71st overall to lead Tarleton. Kymberlee Trnka was second for the TexAnns in 85th place with a time of 19:24. Also competing for Tarleton was Angela Riker (19:32), Krista Morris (19:37), Sheila Bishop (19:42), Shadoh Campbell (19:57) and Morgan Kuykendall (20:15).

The TexAnns finished behind only seven schools in the South Central Region, and just two from the LSC (Central Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma).

"A big race like this really benefits teams that don't have strong runners from top to bottom," Ponder said. "I have been stressing with our girls about the one through five gap time, and today, we our fifth person finished just 28 seconds behind the first person, and that is very good."

Finishing behind the TexAnns from the LSC was East Central, Midwestern State and Southeastern Oklahoma.

The Tarleton cross country teams will return to action at the Oklahoma State Jamboree on Sept. 29 in Stillwater, Okla.