Historic season for Tarleton cross country

Hilaree Foreman, Managing Editor

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The 2015 season for the Tarleton State University cross country teams has so far been proven successful for both the Texan and TexAnn teams, led by eight-year Head Coach Pat Ponder.

To start their season, the teams traveled to the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton, Texas. The Texans finished fourth, while the TexAnns finished fifth. At Missouri Southern State University’s Southern Stampede, the Texans finished seventh, while the TexAnns finished 10th. At the University of Arkansas’s Chile Pepper Invitational, the Texans finished fourth, and the TexAnns finished 11th. In the final meet of their regular season at Angelo State University’s Blue and Gold Invitational, the teams dominated in the meet, both finishing in first place.

The first stop of the post-season was the Lone Star Conference Championship, hosted by Tarleton at the Tejas Golf Course. The TexAnns narrowly defeated Eastern New Mexico University 71-70, giving the TexAnns their first conference championship in the team’s history. Senior Aly Coughlin won first overall in the individual title, a first for the TexAnns since 2013. Coughlin’s first place finish puts her up to three first place finishes in five meets in the 2015 season. Along with Coughlin, junior Katelin Huckabee finished third, sophomore Haley Dennard finished 18th, senior Tylo Farrar came right behind in 19th, sophomore Audrey Shelton, and rounding up the TexAnns, freshman Andelynn Carlton finishing 44th in the championship. Coughlin and Huckabee were named LSC All-Conference, finishing in the top 15.

The Texans, who are ranked No. 9 in the South Central Region, finished second in the championship behind West Texas A&M University. Senior Ty Doty led the Texans with a third place finish, senior Chase Rathke followed behind in sixth, and junior Thorne Pettigrew came in at ninth, giving Tarleton three runners finishing in the top 10. Senior Dylan Willett finished 11th, senior Brandon Lacy finished 13th, senior Luke Scribner came in at 14, sophomore Peyton Heinig came in 31st, and rounding it out for the Texans, senior Mason Wrobel finished 41st. Doty, Rathke, Pettigrew, Willett, Lacy and Scribner were also named to the LSC All-Conference team for their top 20 finishes.

Coach Pat Ponder was recently named LSC Women’s Coach of the Year, his fifth Coach of the Year award in his eight years coaching the Texan and TexAnn cross country teams.

The Texans and TexAnns competed in the NCAA South Central Regional hosted by West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas on Nov. 7 and pending their results in Canyon, they will travel to Joplin, Missouri for the NCAA Division II National Championships on Nov. 21. Be sure to check out jtacnews.com to see the results.