Cross Country/Track and Field Ink Three to Class of 2012

Samantha Hardin CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi cross country and track and field teams have signed three to National Letters of Intent, director of cross country and track and field Shawn Flanagan announced today. Regina Salinas (Corpus Christi/Incarnate Word), Samantha Hardin (Denison/ Montgomery) and Joel Gracia (La Joya/Juarez Lincoln) will join the 2012 fall recruiting class.

"We're very happy to have signed these three athletes," Flanagan said. "I think they are definitely going to help us out across the board and they have a lot of potential to help us out in cross country along with indoor and outdoor track and field. On the women's side, we have some seniors who will be graduating so we are happy to have these two added to the women's team."

Salinas ran at the 2011 Islander Splash and clocked a time of 12:19.00 in the two mile, improving her finish of 12:50.30 from 2009. She set a personal-best record of 11:35.20 in the two mile at the UTSA Invitational to place seventh. She placed second in the two mile at the TAPPS State Cross Country Championships and at the UTSA Invitational in 2010.   

Salinas posted a new personal record in the 5000m at the Nike South Invitational on with a time of 19:46.90 as a junior. She also set a personal-best time in the 3200m at the TAPPS State Cross Country meet to place third. Salinas joins current distance runner Alexandria Rossi from Incarnate Word.

Hardin placed first in the two mile at the Lufkin Coke Classic on October, 15, 2011. She posted a third-place finish in the two mile at the Montgomery Moonlight Madness as a junior with a personal-best time of 12:00.00. Hardin marked a personal record as a junior in the 3200m at the Region 3-4A Meet to place fourth with a time of 11:27.02 and placed third in the 1600m with a time of 5:16.43. She clocked a time of 5:04.87 in the 1500m at the Rice University Victor Lopez Classic in 2011 and finished a with a personal-best time of 10.53.33 in the 3000m.

Gracia is a regional qualifier in cross country and track. He posted a personal-best record in the 5000m at the UTSA Invitational with a time of 16:07.70. He recorded a three-mile personal record of 17:08.50 at the Edcouch-Elsa Invitational as a sophomore. Gracia will join current distance runner Angel Banda from Juarez Lincoln High School.

"Each one is different and will bring something different to the team to make us that much stronger as a team next year," Flanagan added.