Men's Runner of the Week: Eric Casarez, Texas A&M
Texas A&M's Eric Casarez ran the fastest 8K time in the SEC last weekend, setting a Dale Watts Cross Country Course record and winning the Texas A&M Invitational in 23:04.0. From the moment the gun went off, Casarez asserted his dominance leading the entire race. The speedster jumped out running the first 2k at 5:40.2, nearly 15-seconds faster than nearest competitor. Casarez continued to speed away from the field holding a near 41-second lead at the 5.7k split, before finishing 43-seconds ahead of runner-up. Casarez bettered the course record, previously held by Alabama's Antibahs Kosgei, by 20-seconds.
Women's Runner of the Week: Lauren Gregory, Arkansas
Arkansas' Lauren Gregory was the top collegiate finisher in the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by Oregon in Springfield. Gregory covered the 6,000m distance in 20:06.9, finishing behind unattached runner Izzy Thornton-Bott (20:04.6) and ahead of Anna Pataki of Portland (20:07.7). Through splits in the race, Gregory's progression went from 10th (4:40.8), to 5th (8:20.0), to 3rd (12:33.1), and 2nd (16:02.3). Gregory moved into the lead between the fourth split and the finish line as she passed Thornton-Bott. In the final 100m, Thornton-Bott regained the lead.
Women's Freshman Runner of the Week: Maddie Livingston, Texas A&M
Texas A&M's Maddie Livingston placed fourth overall with a time of 17:49.7 at the Texas A&M Invitational. It was her second career top five finish. Her performance helped lead the Aggies to the overall team title, defeating Rice by 26 points. Livingston was the second Aggie to cross the finish line behind senior Julia Black. The freshman ran an average mile time of 5:44.3.