WINDCREST, TEXAS (Nov. 9, 2019) - The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's cross-country team placed seven runners in the top 10 to capture the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championships on Saturday.
This is the team's fifth consecutive conference title after winning in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The women also won the championships.
Head Coach Stephen Sherman said, "We have had years in the past where emotions are torn between one group doing well while the other group did not do so well. There are no torn emotions with the result of this meet. The women dominated, and then the men followed suit and dominated as well. There is not much more I could have asked of them."
"I felt like the men probably did not have as clean of a path to winning the conference as the women did," commented Sherman. "[Babiker] Babiker out of Southwest is a guy we know well and knew would give us a good go, and their freshmen Cody Smith came into the meet with solid results too. Fabian [Arreola] out of Texas College is a quality runner, as well. I think knowing that, and with all of our guys wanting to win the whole thing, we really got after it from the firing of the gun. In the end, our guys ran with a lot of grit and pride and pulled off their fifth RRAC championship in a row."
Nathaniel Rodriguez (FR/San Antonio, Texas) captured the individual medal after running the 8k in 27:16. He was followed 18 seconds later by Babiker Babiker from Southwest at 27:34. The next four runners were from OLLU: Third-place Jose Zarate (SO/San Antonio, Texas) at 27:54, fourth-place Isaac Martinez (FR/Weslaco, Texas) also at 27:54 and Christopher Marcus (FR/Helotes, Texas) at 28:11. In seventh place was Andrew Moczygemba (SR/San Antonio, Texas) at 28:39, ninth-place Miguel Segura (JR/San Antonio, Texas) at 28:54 and 10th-place Hector Puente (FR/McAllen, Texas) at 29:06. Other finishers were Patrick Duncan (SO/El Paso, Texas) in 11th place at 30:32 and Antonio Bustamante (SO/San Antonio, Texas) in 12th place at 30:39. There were 33 runners in the race.
Regarding Rodriguez, Sherman said, "With the statement run Nate had in Kansas I felt that he probably was the favorite to win it individually, but I felt like he was going to have to earn it. It turned out to be exactly that. I was really impressed with how he handled being pressed by Babiker and as a freshman dropping a quality and experienced runner. It was fun to watch."
Rodriguez is OLLU's third consecutive RRAC Individual Men's Champion. Andrew Moczygemba won in 2017 and Nathaniel Aguilar won in 2018.
The team will now prepare for the NAIA National Meet that will take place in Fort Vancouver Historic Site, Vancouver, Wash., Nov. 22.