COLLEGE STATION — Maggie Montoya is glad she’s NCAA-bound. She just wishes her team could have joined her on the trip.
Baylor’s Montoya finished second overall in the NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Championships Friday at Texas A&M, clinching an individual spot in the upcoming NCAA meet Nov. 21 in Louisville, Ky. Montoya completed the 6,000-meter course in a time of 19:50.5, 15 seconds behind champion Dominique Scott of Arkansas.
Baylor was hoping to finish with one of the top two automatic qualifying spots in the team race, but the Bears’ 134 points ended up fourth behind Arkansas (40), Texas (105) and SMU (132). Barring an at-large berth, Baylor will miss the NCAA meet as a team after reaching that illustrious 31-team stage last year.
Montoya, a junior from Rogers, Ark., will make her second straight NCAA meet appearance after running in the meet with her teammates last year.
Peyton Thomas, who passed out for a portion of Baylor’s Big 12 meet race before being roused to her feet, put together a strong race in College Station. She finished seventh overall at 20:10.4, joining Montoya as an all-region performer.
Baylor’s third runner, Chelsea Orr, just missed a spot on the all-region team, which is reserved for the top 25 runners. Orr finished 26th.
Meanwhile, Baylor’s men outperformed their regional ranking by five spots, finishing sixth in the team race. The top five teams were Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Lamar and SFA.
Baylor senior J.R. Hardy charged to a strong 26th-place showing, just missing a spot on the all-region squad. Hardy completed the 10,000-meter course in 31:05.04.
Matt League finished in 37th for the Bears and Eric Anderson came in 40th.