STILLWATER, Okla. — Maggie Montoya couldn’t chase down the Big 12 championship she was pursuing, but a top-five finish in one of the best cross country conferences in the country isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Baylor’s Montoya finished fifth in the Big 12 Cross Country Championships Saturday, giving her an all-conference showing for a second straight year. Montoya completed the 6,000-meter course in 20:57.4. She was seventh at the Big 12 meet last year.
“Maggie ran a good race. She was with the leaders until the last part,” Baylor coach Todd Harbour said. “She just couldn’t quite hold on to it, but it was a good race for her. Team-wise, I’m disappointed in where we ended up. Our lack of depth got exposed today.”
The Baylor women, who had a goal of second place, finished seventh in the team race with 195 points. There was a wide gap between Montoya and Baylor’s next-fastest runner, junior Peyton Thomas, who came in 46th at 22:23.9.
Host Oklahoma State swept both team titles. The Cowgirl women snapped a four-year winning streak by Iowa State, totaling 34 points for its first Big 12 team win in program history. Iowa State was second with 52 points and West Virginia third with 118.
The OSU men continued their stranglehold on the conference title by winning their eighth straight, with a dynamic score of 28 points. Oklahoma took second with 50 points and Texas was third with 83.
Baylor’s men finished eighth with 184 points, led by sophomore Eric Anderson in 23rd place. Anderson charged to a time of 25:23 on the 8,000-meter men’s course. Senior J.R. Hardy was 35th at 25:45.3.
“The race went out hard,” Baylor assistant coach Jon Capron said. “We were hoping it would go out a little slower than that, and we didn’t get our top guys in the pack that they needed to get in.”
Baylor will need to recover quickly, as both teams will next compete at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships Nov. 13 in College Station. The Baylor women were ranked second in the region behind Arkansas before the Big 12 meet, and the top two teams at the regional meet automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Baylor men are ranked 10th in the latest regional poll, and would be an extreme long shot to earn an NCAA bid.