North Texas Distance Runners Travel to California
Looking to Break School Records and Set Personal Bests, the Mean Green Heads to California
DENTON--A group of selected North Texas distance runners traveled to California to compete in two elite competitions--the Mt. SAC relays in Walnut, Calif., and the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif.
"This weekend is the first meet of the outdoor season that we have rested for," said distance coach Stefanie Slekis. "This a huge opportunity for us to run fast, especially over the longer distances of 5000m and 10000m."
Thursday night, Silvester Harrison will compete in the men's 10,000m and Shauna Pali runs the women's 10,000m at the Mt. SAC relays.
On Friday, Bryce McAndrew and Zach Kirkland run the Mt. SAC 1500m.
At the Bryan Clay Invitational, senior Alex Hita is to run the men's 800m and the 1500m. Magdalena Escobar and Christina Moralez compete in the women's 1500m.
The Bryan Clay Invitational men's 5000m will include North Texas runners Troy Taylor, Alejandro Valencia, Mike Lowe, and Grady Frazier.
"The main goal when we come here is obviously to set big personal bests, but more importantly we are chasing the clock to run times to qualify for the NCAA West Prelims. Over half of the times that will qualify in the 5,000m and 10,000m for the West Prelims will be run at a meet in California. The perfect weather and depth of competition is why we make the trip here," Slekis said.
Slekis says that athletes Shauna Pali and Silvester Harrison are working to break school 10,000m records. Bryce McAndrew is also looking to break the 1500m record.
"This will be Troy's first time running a time-trial style 5000m where it is all about how fast he can run versus the other 5000m races he has run on the track up to this year were just for points at the conference meet. It will be exciting to see him chase the 14:00 minute barrier, and he also has the goal of breaking the school record of 14:09," Slekis said.
As for the rest of the North Texas track and field team, they will compete at the John Jacobs Invitational Saturday, April 18 in Norman, Oklahoma.