LIVE OAK, TEXAS (Oct. 8, 2016) – For the first time ever, the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's cross-country team won the Non-Division I 8K at the UIW Invitational on Saturday at Live Oak City Park. This is the 11th annual event sponsored by NCAA DI University of the Incarnate Word. In 2010, the Saints placed 11th, in 2014 they placed sixth and last year, they were second.
Head Coach Stephen Sherman commented, "The men made a resounding statement today about what they can be when motivated. I haven't really gone into any statistics but that probably was the best team performance I've ever seen from our men. It's definitely in the top three. Now the question is whether or not this is who we are going to be from here on out or if it is merely who we were once."
The meet was the ninth consecutive year at Live Oak City Park and was the largest meet in school history. A total of 252 college athletes from 12 men's teams and 13 women's competed at the invitational.
Finishing after OLLU (28 points) in the Non-Division I category were: Texas A&M University – Kingsville (31 points), Texas A&M International University (82 points), Trinity University (104 points), Southwestern University (126 points) and Schreiner University (177 points).
"Over the years UIW's meet has been hit and miss for us," Sherman said. "It's the only meet we have ran every year as a program, so there is a lot of historical context. It's been a meet where I've experienced a range of emotions. That said, I feel pretty good about the results today from both the men and the women."
OLLU's Derek Barnett (JR/Redlands, Calif.) finished in sixth place for the Saints with a time of 25:32.2. Patrick Torres (JR/San Antonio, Texas) came in ninth with a time of 25:52.8, followed by Nathaniel Aguilar (SO/El Paso, Texas) in 10th place at 25L56.4 and Luis Ramirez (SO/San Antonio, Texas) in 11th at 26:13.6.
Other OLLU finishers included: Patrick Bousselot (SO/Cibolo, Texas) at 26:29.2, Tristen Robles (SO/Palmview, Texas) at 28:40.2, Justin Ybarra (SO/Harlingen, Texas) at 28:46.3 and Joe Pesina (FR/San Antonio, Texas) at 32:07.4.
The Saints will compete next at the Mid-States Classic hosted by Southwestern University in Winfield, Kan., on Oct. 22.
Our Lady of the Lake University is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016-2017 as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The University began competing in the NAIA in men's soccer and volleyball in 2007. A year later, they added women's soccer, golf and tennis. In 2009, the Saints began competing in cross-country, softball and basketball. In 2014, OLLU added two more sports — baseball and track and field. There are now 13 intercollegiate athletic teams at OLLU. All athletic alumni and up to two family members will receive free admission to basketball and volleyball games throughout the season. Baseball is not included in this special offer. All other home games are free and open to the public.