ABILENE - The Ranger College women's cross country team got a taste of the big time in their season-opening meet on Saturday. The Lady Rangers competed against a handful of Division I and Division II programs at the 2018 Naimudu Classic on Sept. 1 at Abilene Christian University.
As a team, Ranger College finished fifth in the final team standings with 113 points. Big 12 power Texas Tech won the team title with 27 points. Abilene Christian, Angelo State State and the University of Texas-Permian Basin rounded out the top four spots.
RC head coach Kathy Graham said she was pleased with the team's effort at the meet, noting her team would see better results as their conditioning improved.
"The women are talented but their fitness level needs to move up quite a bit," she said, adding many of the runners competing in the race were experiencing a 6-kilometer race for the first time.. "The 6K was longer than the 5K they usually run. We'll get better."
Jessica Thomas-Billot, a highly-touted freshman from Castlenaudary, France, paced the Ranger College women. She finished 11th in the race with a time of 24 minutes, 56.9 seconds.
Breanne Irish and Catherine Lopez also did well for the Lady Rangers. Irish, a freshman from Granbury, Texas, placed 27th with a time of 28:11.8. A freshman from Andrews, Texas, Lopez was 29th at 28:30.5.
The Ranger women will return to action on Saturday when they compete in the Western Texas College Invitational.
For complete results from the Naimudi Classic click here.