TAMPA, Flor. -- Competing last week at the Claw Golf Course at the University of South Florida, the Texas Lutheran Men's and Women's Cross Country teams each collected strong finishes in their last races before the 2017 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships.
While overall team scores were not collected for the meet, the women did amass a combined 424 points among a field of 155 athletes and 17 teams. NCAA Division I programs University of South Florida and The University of Miami were among the competing teams.
The TLU Men's squad registered a cumulative total of 244 points in a field of 88 athletes .which also contained several Division I and Division II Programs.
A week after not competing at the UIW Invitational, sophomore Ashley Rynard (Temple/Temple) returned to lead the Bulldog squad with a 33rd-place finish in a 5K time of 19 minutes, 50 seconds.
Freshman Felicia Ortiz (Skidmore/Skidmore-Tynan) and junior Kylee Garcia (Wichita Falls/Rider) came home next for the Bulldogs with respective 74th and 86th-place finishes and respective times of 20:51 and 21:12.
Sophomore Ciara Rodriguez (Uvalde/Uvalde) and freshman Kate Braun (Wimberley/Wimberley) rounded out the finishers for the Bulldogs with 104th and 127th place finishes.
On the men's side, senior Blake Westbrook (Victoria/Victoria West) led the Bulldogs with a 39th-place finish in a personal-best 8K time of 28:40. Senior Donald Manuszewski (Cibolo/Steele) and Freshman Francisco Rivera (Boling/Boling) crossed the line next for the Bulldogs with respective 43rd and 45th-place finishes and respective times of 28:56 and 29:14.
Freshman Hector Hornedo (San Antonio/Antonian) and senior Rudolph Calderon (Pleasanton/Pleasanton) rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs with 51st and 66th place finishes, respectively.
Both Bulldog squads will be in action again at the SCAC Championships, to be held on the TLU campus on Saturday, Oct. 28.
TLU's spectator-friendly course will begin and end on the intramural fields between the Jones Physical Education Complex and Ed Kruse Softball Stadium.
The women will race a 6K course, and the men will race an 8K course. The men's race is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start, with the women's race following at 10 a.m.
Both TLU programs will look to build upon last year's third-place team finishes.