ABILENE, Texas – Texas Tech cross country opened their 2018 campaign Saturday at Abilene Christian’s Naimadu Classic. The squad used the meet to get experience and be able to race against some competition.
The men’s team won their race with 28 points after placing all five of their scorers inside the top-10. Crossing first for Tech was Stephen Alvarez, who turned in a 26:35.4 in just his second career 8k. Freshman Luke Estes was the next Red Raider to cross, finishing fourth with a 26:54.2 in his collegiate debut. Estes was followed closely by Michael Benoit, who crossed two seconds later to place fifth. Rounding out the Tech scorers were Connor Hughes (seventh place) and Grant LaSelle (10th place).
“I was proud of Stephen for leading the men,” said head coach Jonathan Murray. “Luke Estes made a big impression in his first race as a Red Raider.”
On the women’s side, Arianna Lopez placed second with a 23:49.4 in her first career 6k. Bret Leigh Nance turned in a 24:08.6 to finish third. Jazmyn Martinez took fifth in her collegiate debut and was followed by Kaitlyn Tharp (eighth place) and Natalie Parks (ninth).
Speaking on the women’s race, Murray said, “They had a very close race with ACU and won because they finished the race so well. It was a team effort for the win.”
The Red Raiders have two weeks now to continue their preparation for the TTU Open, which will be held on Sept. 14. The annual home meet will be Tech’s only race at home this season.