The University of Central Arkansas men’s and women’s cross country teams ran in the Southland Conference Championships for the last time Sunday.
The women’s team won back-to-back conference titles.
The Bears women were led by Tamara Reeves and Alex Hanson, both earned spots in the UCA record book on the road course throughout the campus of Southeastern Louisiana.
The two teams combined for a total of 11 career bests set at the championships as well as four All-SLC selections.
Reeves paced the Bears with a career-best time of 21:06.94 and set the third-fastest time in UCA history in the process.
Reeves’ run earned her a sixth-place finish and Second-Team All-SLC honors in the process.
Sara Steimel collected second-team honors as well, after she produced a career-best mark of 21:34.17 and finished 10th.
Kennedy Timmerman posted a personal-best run of 21:46.84 and earned third-team honors.
With the best time of her career, Bekah Bostian notched a 22nd-place effort of 22:16.83.
Anna Jeffcoat finished with a career-best time of 22:53.14 and placed 35th.
With a personal-best mark of 23:41.30, Anna Bommes finished 49th. Charlotte Blair came in 57th with an effort of 24:05.50.
Hanson led the men with a 12th-place time of 24:13.66, which is the best time in UCA history, and earned a third-team honor.
Max Nores recorded a run of 24:43.84 and placed 17th. Thomas Cain produced a 26th-place mark of 25:03.28, which is a new personal best.
With a personal-best effort of 25:11.94, Jared Hamilton finished 31st. Hunter Henderson clocked a career-best time of 25:21.29 and placed 35th. Simon Schneider came in 43rd with a personal-best mark of 25:40.78.
“What a day,” UCA interim coach Beau Theriot said. “Both teams ran as best they could have and the ladies really made something special happen. Three all-conference performances paved the way for the team, but it really came down to the tight spread between our first and fifth finishers. Of course, this being on the road changed things up and gave us an advantage on the ladies’ side.
“The men’s team gave it everything they had. It was an incredibly strong field, and honestly fifth is a very respectable finish. Alex Hanson was an all-conference performer. Again, being on the road changed things from our usual routine, it didn’t necessarily put the men at a disadvantage, but it definitely gave some other teams a boost. I’m incredibly proud of the teams and our staff, it’s been an abnormal year.”
The University of Central Arkansas tennis program had split results as it finished its trip to Oklahoma.
UCA defeated its cross-state Bear rival as it bested Missouri State 4-0 in the doubleheader’s first leg.
In the second portion of the day, the Bears fell to the No. 13 Oklahoma State Cowgirls 4-0.
It only took three singles matches for the Central Arkansas Bears to defeat these Missouri State Bears.
Starting it for UCA was sophomore Fuka Nonoyama. Nonoyama got the singles scoring going as she completely dominated her opponent in the second portion of the match. After winning the first set 6-4, she went on a run to obliterate her opponent 6-0 to win it.
Following her success was freshman Jaeun Lee and junior Yada Vasupongchai. Lee pushed the lead further as she completed her victory 6-4, 6-1.
After that, Vasupongchai solidified the match with her own successful campaign as she won it 6-4, 6-4.
The Bears continued their recent string of success in doubles play as they claimed two of the three. The dynamic duo of Chunxi Xin and Nonoyama began the match on a high note as they claimed it 6-2.
The team of sophomore Mei Ishimura and Vasupongchai continued their trend of giving the Bears the doubles point. The pairing won their set in a tiebreaker as they claimed it 7-6.
OSU 4, UCA 0
Though the Bears did not get anything on the scoreboard against Oklahoma State, they showcased ability from their top players. Both Nonoyama and Vasupongchai were well on their way to a victory before the match hit the final point.
Nonoyama had already won the first set 6-4 and was up 5-4 in the second. Vasupongchai won her first set 6-4 and was tied 3-3 in the second.
The Bears fell in all three of their matches but came close in their No. 1 doubles match. Xin and Nonoyama were up 5-4 but could not finish it out as the match ended early.
Up next for the Bears, they will host their first two home matches of the spring season.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is set to match up with UCA on Friday, while Lamar comes to town Sunday.