Posted Nov 2, 2003 19:35:58
Tech Finishes Sixth at WAC Cross Country Championships
RUSTON -- Senior Carlos Arrizon finished ninth overall and head coach Gary Stanley said his team ran hard, but Tech's men's cross country team came away with only a sixth-place finish at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in San Jose, Calif., Saturday.
"We ran a lot better than we did a year ago. All of the athletes finshed a lot higher, but we finished in the same place," Stanley said.
Arrizon, who placed 22nd in last year's WAC Championships, earned Tech's first top 10 at the conference meet since the Bulldogs joined the WAC three seasons ago.
Arrizon finished the 8K course in 25-minutes, 26-seconds, which was just 48 seconds behind UTEP's Mircea Bogdan, the conference champion.
Junior Stefan Malmqvist finished second for Tech and 20th overall with a time of 26:31.
"I felt like we raced hard," Stanley said. "Stefan and Carlos ran particularly well. Carlos was like 22nd last year, and he was ninth this year. Stefan was around 44th last year, and he was up to 20th this year."
Sophomore Karoly Varga (26:43), sophomore Dustin Wiltcher (27:15) and senior Gearie Smith (27:26) rounded out Tech's top five at 24th, 28th and 29th places, respectively.
Stanley also praised the effort of Wiltcher, whom Stanley was not expecting much of a contribution from at the beginning of the year. However, Wiltcher's hard work allowed him to finish in the top 30, up from 54th overall last year.
Freshman Jeremy Cobb, who competed all year to be in Tech's top five and showed the Bulldogs have a bright future behind him, finished 31st overall at 27:41.
Tulsa took the team title with 49 points, followed by Boise State with 65. UTEP finished right behind for third place with 66 points. Rice (83) and SMU (108) rounded out the top 5, followed by Tech (110) and San Jose State (190).
Stanley said he was disappointed that his team didn't finish higher in the standings, but he also pointed out the WAC is a very tough conference.
"The reality is that four of those teams that finished ahead of us went to a meet in Arkansas two weeks ago and beat LSU, who beat us," Stanley said. "So we knew it was going to be tough.
"It doesn't look like it from the standings, but Tech has a very good cross country team on the men's side. The WAC is just very tough."
Stanley said that Arrizon will compete at the South Central Region Men's Cross Country Championships in Waco, Texas, on the campus of Baylor University on Nov. 15.
Qualifiers at the regional competition go on to compete at the national championship at Northern Iowa University in Waterloo, Iowa, on Nov. 24.
"I think Carlos has ran well all year, and he ran well again at the conference championship," Stanley said. "I'm interested in seeing how he competes at regionals."