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Senior Johen DeLeon finished first for the men’s cross country team at the Arturo Barrios Invitational Saturday. Photo courtesy of Texas State Athletics.

The Texas State women’s cross country team placed fourth and the men’s finished fifth at the 2019 Sun Belt Cross County Championships on Saturday in Hampton, Georgia.

The women tallied 112 points and the men totaled 92 points. True freshman Riley McGrath was named the Sun Belt Freshman and Newcomer of the year, and both teams combined for four runners on the All-Sun Belt Team.

The women’s team averaged an 18:30.06 time and had two All-Sun Belt selections. Junior Sydney Cole placed 10th and ran a time of 18:00.3, earning her a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team. Cole was placed on the Third Team last year, making her a two-time All-Sun Belt honoree in her third year at Texas State. McGrath was honored to the All-Sun Belt Third Team with a 12th place finish and a time of 18:04.7. Finishing out the ‘Cats’ scorers were senior Abby Steinhauser in 21st place with a time of 18:22.5, junior Tina Sierra, who crossed the finish line 32nd with a time of 18:57.8, and senior Leslie Romero, who finished in 37th place with a time of 19:05.0.

Two Bobcats earned All-Sun Belt honors on the men’s side, three athletes finished in the top 20 and the team’s average time was 25:25.42. Junior Justin Botello received All-Sun Belt Second Team honors with an eighth-place finish and a time of 24:45.3 and junior Cade Michael earned an All-Sun Belt Third Team nod after crossing the finish line in 13th place with a time of 25:02.9. Senior Johen Deleon placed 18th with a final time of 25:29.3, while sophomore Dereck Elkins (26th, 25:53.4) and junior Owen McGlothlin (27th, 25:56.2) rounded out the Bobcat scorers.

The season ended for many Bobcat runners, but fans can catch athletes such as Cole, Romero and Elkins in distance races as Indoor Track begins on January 5.

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