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Track & Field/Cross Country

UTSA heads to the Beaver State for Willamette Invitational

by Alma Solis

SALEM, Ore. — After a successful season opener a couple weeks ago, the Roadrunners head to the 48th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Saturday morning at Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon.

The meet will open with the men’s 8,000-meter run at 8:30 a.m. (PT)/10:30 a.m. (CT), followed by the women’s 5k at 9:20 a.m. (PT)/11:20 a.m. (CT). Results will be posted online on Willamette Athletics.

The Roadrunners will run against 32 participating teams, including host Willamette University, Division I programs Hawaii, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State and Seattle, and 25 non-DI programs.

In UTSA’s season opener at the UIW Invitational on Sept. 16, sophomore OJ Ruiz paced the Roadrunners as he finished in 17th place with a time of 25:33.5, leading UTSA to a sixth-place team finish. Colton Stunkard finished in 22nd place with a time of 25:47.6, while Idol Ramon followed shortly behind at 25:56.6 for 23rd place.

Adrian Orozco rounded out the top-50 individual finishers, crossing the finish line in 49th with a time of 26:42.9. Landon Blankenship (72nd, 27:36.1), Gabe Hernandez (81st, 28:06.5) and Dominick Landin (98th, 29:22.8) were the final three UTSA runners to score in the meet.

On the women’s side, the freshman twin duo of Melody and Marissa Espinoza led the Roadrunners to a third-place team finish. Melody Espinoza led the pack with a seventh-place finish and a time of 22:13.5, while Marissa Espinoza crossed the finish line in 22:52.4 to take 16th place.

All seven scoring runners finished in the faster half of the 87 competing individuals. Taylor Cochran took 28th with a time of 23:23.1, while Jadelyn Malesich (32nd, 23:37.5) and Brooke Veltman (33rd, 23:38.9) followed shortly behind. Itzel Rojo logged a time of 23:51.3 for 38th place, while Luzaan de Wit was the final Roadrunner to score in 43rd place and a time of 24:03.5.

The Roadrunners return to the Lone Star State on Oct. 13 to compete in Texas A&M’s Arturo Barrios Invitational in College Station, Texas, at Watts Cross Country Course.