BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Aggies Eric Casarez i Gemma Goddard won individual titles, while Texas A&M swept the men’s and women’s team titles Wednesday night at the Aggie Opener at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course.
“I thought Eric [Casarez] she looked good and Gemma [Goddard] she looked very good in her first college career, ”the coach said Pat Henry. “You saw a group trying to run as a team and trying to do some things together. It’s good to get out early and see some things about yourself as a team, that’s what it was about today.”
After an hour of lightning, the gun rang as the women began the 2021 season. A&M finished 1-3-5-6-9 to add 24 points, defeating runner-up SMU by 25 points. Goddard tipped SMU’s Steffi Jones at the finish line to claim the individual title in 2.2 seconds, completing the 4.1k run at 14: 26.8. The true freshman jumped eight positions from the middle of the road to get her first collegiate victory.
Abbey of Santoro third place at 14: 27.8, followed by Maddie Livingston to fifth at 14: 31.8. Julia Black crossed the sixth finish line (14: 33.1), while Grace Plain ranked ninth (14: 48.0) to complete Aggie’s top five finishers.
In the men’s test, Casarez showed complete dominance by defeating the field for 24 seconds. The sprinter ran the first 2k in 5: 53.9, before stopping the clock at 15: 14.5. The junior completed the 5k course without ever relinquishing the leading position.
Joseph Benn joined Casárez with a top-five finish, the first year he crossed the finish line at 15: 44.2 to finish fourth. Companions Aggies Victor Zuniga (15: 54.1), Gavin Hoffpauir (15: 56.7) i Jonathan Chung (16: 01.9) each of the top 10 finishers registered to help the Aggies win the team title by 54 points.
Texas A&M takes a three-week break before holding the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday, September 25th.
Texas A&M Quotes
Remote trainer Wendel McRaven
in one hour delay:
“It just created an extra anxiety. I’m working as a coach, but we’re also organizing the meeting, so I’m worried that we’re going into the meeting and we’re a good host. It forced us to start racing so together, it makes it more it’s hard to train and delve into exactly what happened. It was a lot easier because I was at home, the athletes feel comfortable there and I don’t care that they don’t know the route. “
of the female group:
“The women executed exactly what we were talking about. We always use this first encounter as a rustler, we try to control the start of the race because we just got back to campus in less than two weeks. We’re using this as an opportunity to see where we are, so I wanted to make sure they controlled the first half of the race.It’s a good-looking group.They are ahead of where we were at this point last year, which is important and I’m ‘satisfied with that I am delighted to see the first year increase and become a significant part of the group and I am very pleased with Gemma [Goddard] winning the race “.
in the male group:
“Eric [Casarez] it looked very good. He didn’t execute exactly what we were talking about before the race, but he looked really good and seemed to have several more gears left. The rest of the boys built it and it was solid. I am very pleased with Joseph [Benn], it ‘s a grinder and gets a little better every year. “
Junior Eric Casarez
at the opening of the season:
“I felt pretty confident. It’s just the opening of the season, so I didn’t want to strain my body too much. I tried to let coach McRaven know how I felt because I know he thinks maybe I was a little excited. “I went back a little bit to 1.5k just because there were a lot of races ahead. This encounter is just a rehearsal, as coach Henry always says. I just wanted to get my feet moving and get back to the home field.”
expectations for the 2020 season versus the 2021 season:
“I’m back. I wanted to let everyone know that last season wasn’t me. It was a high and low season, I had had covings and I struggled with injuries. It wasn’t me. I’m going to come in this season with a chip on my shoulder and I have to make sure we go to nationals to be in the top 40 ”.
First year student Gemma Goddard
in his first school career:
“I was definitely nervous about getting into the race. The delays were a surprise, but honestly it worked out in the end because the weather got cold. I felt like entering the race the team felt really strong and I’m excited to run with an amazing group of girls “.
on leadership for the elderly:
“Having older people like Abbey [Santoro], Julia [Black] and other upper-class men as leaders is comforting. I was getting into this really uncertain race of how I would end up, but knowing they are by my side and I knew that if it hurt, I would have them there supporting me. ”
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