COLUMBIA, Mo. –Texas A&M’s Eric Casarez won the men’s 8k title setting a Gans Creek Cross Country course record, while the women’s team claimed the 6k team title Friday at the Gans Creek Classic.
Continuing his hot streak, Casarez blazed the field of nearly 200 runners winning by 17 seconds to cross the finish line at 23:36.5. He claimed his third individual title in as many races entered this season. Casarez bettered the Gans Creek Course record by 18 seconds, marking the second consecutive week he etched his name to a course record. The speedster won the Texas A&M Invitational breaking the Dale Watts Course record at 23:04.0.
Momentum for the Maroon & White carried into the women’s race. Julia Black and Gemma Goddard recorded top-10 finishes to lead the Aggies to an overall team score of 64 points defeating runner-up Missouri by three points. The victory marked the team’s third straight title.
Running in 17th place at the 4,000m mark, Black split 3:34.7 over the next 1,000m to jump in the standings to seventh. The Keller, Texas, native continued to zoom past competitors splitting 3:25.5 over the last 1,000m to place fourth overall at 21:17.2. It marked the second top-5 finish for the senior and third top-10 finish on the season.
Goddard followed with a sixth place finish at 21:17.3. The freshman led the Aggies a majority of the race after making her move around the 2,500m mark jumping from 23rd to 11th. The Austin, Texas, native continued to move up the standings before finishing the race with a 3:30.1 final split to record her third career top-10 finish.
Abbey Santoro, Maddie Livingston and Grace Plain each recorded top-25 finishes to score valuable points for Texas A&M. Santoro clocked 21:27.1 to finish 13th, followed by Livingston at 18th with a time of 21:31.7 and Plain 23rd overall at 21:37.6.
The men’s team finished seventh with 157 points. Following Casarez individual title, Joseph Benn, Colton Colonna, Gavin Hoffpauir and Brady Grant each scored points for the Maroon & White. Benn placed 29th (24:42.7), Colonna 37th (24:51.8), Hoffpauir 45th (24:57.8) and Grant 49th (25:01.4).