With four runners placing among the top-14 at the season-opening Terry Masterson Twilight Classic held Friday in Hutchinson, KS, the Cowley College men’s cross country team finished second to only Allen Community College in the eightteam field.
Cowley freshman Xoel Rodriguez-Abad placed fourth in the 4-mile race with a time of 21:36.1.
“I loved the fearlessness of Xoel Rodriguez-Abad taking the race out hot and was really pleased to see the way we competed,” Cowley head coach Cameron Rieth said. “There were several good things that makes a coach excited about the year, but also some things we can improve on.”
Cloud County’s Habtamu Geta won the men’s race with a time of 20:13.5, while Allen Community College had four runners place in the top-10 and won the meet with a score of 49 points, five better than the Tigers.
Cowley’s Joel Rodriguez (22.11.8), Samuel Giles (22:13.8), Javyn Contreras (22:29.7), and Caleb Liermann (22:35.2) placed just outside the top-10 and helped score points for the Tigers.
“Sam Giles and Joel Rodriguez led a pack of orange to a solid performance, and Caleb Liermann’s tough and gutsy finish, were just some of the things that stood out on the guys side,” Rieth said.
Other Cowley runners at the meet were Aidan Wells (22:48.8), Edgar Reyes (22:57.1), Edwin Olvera (23:26.7), and Jimmy Howey (25:26.5).
“We did not run several of our guys for various reasons, but I loved the way we ran with heart and passion,” Rieth said. “It’s going to take that to make an impact on the national scene, which is our goal every year.”
Cowley will now prepare to compete at the Ollie Isom Invitational Friday, September 11 at 4 p.m. in El Dorado, KS.
“We will see who is going to step up and be in our top 7 on the guys team,” Rieth said.
Team scores: (1) Allen, 49: (2) Cowley, 57; (3) Hutchinson, 61; (4) Cloud County, 103; (5) Highland, 118; (6) Dodge City, 125; (7) MCC-Longview, 175; (8) Coffeyville, 233.