Michael Guerrero
Sharon Ellman

Cross Country Drew Harris

Guerrero, men’s team sweep Richey titles

Senior wins his second career individual home meet crown

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Michael Guerrero claimed the individual title and the UTA men snagged the team crown Friday morning at the Gerald Richey UTA Invitational at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.
 
The Mavericks finished with 26 points to top Baylor (29) by three points in a tight team finish. UTA reversed its result against the Bears, who won their home meet a week ago in a race that also featured the Mavs.
 
This time, however, Guerrero was in action for UTA, and he ultimately became victorious in the individual competition at the Gerald Richey for the second time (2016) in his career. He also had a runner-up showing in 2015 and was seventh as a freshman in 2014.
 
The fifth-year senior, who sat out the 2017 cross country season and 2018 outdoor track season as a redshirt, returned in style. After completing the 5k circuit in 15:21.5 to win by 10 seconds, he sprinted back alongside the shoot to push his teammates to the finish.
 
"It's pretty emotional," Guerrero said. "I've been running here for five years. It's great to win our home meet again. It was very exciting."
 
Despite the early start time, Guerrero and the rest of the field of 30 runners competed in tough conditions--a soggy course from recent rain to go along with warm, muggy conditions. But Guerrero was just pleased to be back competing alongside his teammates.
 
"It felt good. We all have this bond together," he said. "I was looking forward to it. We weren't going to go out and kill ourselves. It was second meet for these guys and first for me. Right now we are hitting the training hard and focusing on workouts. When it's time to race, we'll be ready to race."
 
Teammate Cole Klashinsky placed fourth with a clocking of 15:39.1, topping his finish from last year's home meet by one position and eight seconds.
 
Grayson Birka (16:08.4) was seventh, finishing just ahead of Dominic Cavazos (16:10.8), who took eighth. Brady Steele closed out the team's scoring by giving the Mavericks five finishers in the top 10 (10th, 16:13.9).
 
Justin Domangue, a candidate to redshirt, finished as the meet runner up (15:31.9) while competing as an unattached runner.
 
On the women's side, the Mavericks placed second in a dual meet against Baylor.
Valeria Diaz was the top finisher for the women, grabbing the 11th slot in 19:49.9. Bailey Balmer, who took 12th (20:07.3), followed her to the line. UTA's other point scorers were Anamarija Petters (15th, 21:27.4), Briana Creeks (16th, 21:56.6) and Alanah Moreno (17th, 22:20.5).
 
"We have a lot of work to do," coach John Sauerhage said. "But we are working hard to improve week in and week out, and we hope to be more and more competitive as we go along."
 
The Mavs are next in action Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton.
 
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