LITTLE ROCK – The UALR cross country teams made the most of their lone meet in Little Rock this season, putting forth strong individual and team showings at the Rebsamen Golf Course on Saturday.
On a chilly morning with temperatures in the low 50s, senior Shaun Koehn was the second-place finisher on the men’s side, completing his 8K race in 24:43.25. For the Trojans women, Emma Dahl was third overall in 17:40.75 to lead UALR.
Because the race was run against teams from the NCAA’s Division II, it was scored as separate dual meets. The Trojan men defeated Arkansas State 17-39, Louisiana 16-40 and UAPB 15-50. Central Arkansas was the only team to defeat the Trojan men, taking first, third, fourth and sixth place overall on its way to a dual-meet win by a score of 23 to 33.
George Gathuru was the second finisher for the Trojans, taking fifth overall in 25:04.45. He was followed closely by John Vodacek in seventh with a time of 25:05.96 and Markus Pearson in eighth with a time of 25:13.03. Joseph Aguilar (14th, 25:33.73) was the final scorer for the Trojans while Dalton Richey (21st, 26:15.39) and Caleb De La Paz (28th, 26:56.24) were displacers. Brendon Tucker also ran for the Trojans, taking 36th place in 27:18.85.
Koehn, Gathuru, Pearson and Vodacek were part of the second pack early in the race, but the moved up consistently throughout.
“We did a pack run at the beginning and kind of just progressively got faster throughout the race,” Koehn said. “Coach [Aaron] Batey told us to go out at a specific pace and just progressively get a little faster. … I feel like we did really well today. The team is getting a lot better since the beginning of the season.”
The women fell in dual scoring to Central Arkansas, Arkansas State and Louisiana. However, the Trojans did top UAPB by a score of 19-28, taking four of the first five places in that dual race and six of the top eight.
Besides Dahl’s third-place overall finish, the Trojans got a 14th-place showing from Rebekah Gibbons in 19:11.87, a 21st-place finish from Tori Copeland in 19:55.25 and a 25th-place showing by Brianne Mitchell. Abagail Green (27th, 21:4027) and Brittney Brasuell (28th, 22:20.07) rounded out the UALR finishers.
“I ran about a minute faster than last year, so I’m happy with my race,” Dahl said. “My arms got a little bit tired because of the cold weather and everything, but otherwise it was fine.”
UALR will return to action in two weekends when it runs in the Sun Belt Conference Championship. The Trojans men won the race last season.