North Texas Cross Country Wins Title At Ken Garland Invitational
Women's Team Wins Title; Men's Team Places Third
DENTON - For the first time in six seasons, the North Texas women's cross country team came in first place and the men placed third Saturday at the Ken Garland Invitational held at Eagle Point Cross Country Course.
"It is really exciting to show that we can win at home," cross country coach Stefanie Slekis said. "This has been something we have wanted to do since I got here. I was really proud of the girls winning off of our depth. We have talked about this season running as a team whether you are number three or number eight to go out and do your job."
The women's team came out with a great game plan as sophomore Susannah Lynch finished first with a time of 18:01.3. Sophomore Christina Moralez set a new personal best at the Ken Garland coming in fifth place with a time of 18:48.1. Senior Kylee Kittrell came in 10th place with a time of 19:13.5 and junior Brittany White was 11th at 19:15.4. Sophomore transfer Kellee McCann completed the scoring touching in 15th place with a time of 19:26.2. As a team, North Texas claimed its first Ken Garland invitational title since 2010 with a team score of 42.
"Susannah (Lynch) has been doing a wonderful job and I think something that not everyone gets to see is that I have asked a lot from her in practice to help pace the team," Slekis added. "Susannah has really embraced the challenge and has really bought into the program which is how we have great team success. This meet has really boosted the team confidence level heading into the Chile Pepper race in two weeks."
In one of the most competitive Ken Garland men's race to date, the Mean Green finished third overall with redshirt freshman Alex Cleveland coming in eighth place with a time of 20:31.6. Junior Mike Lowe finished 10th touching in at 20:38.0 and senior James Coleman came in 11th at 20:39.2. Freshman Tim Jones was 17th with a time of 20:57.4 and sophomore Kyle Maloney finished 18th at 20:57.8.
"This has been the most competitive men's home meet since I've been here," said Slekis. "We knew we weren't going to race everyone today so it was going to be tough to win. Also we are training to have a big second half to the year after not doing so well to end the season last year. I am really proud of Alex Cleveland being able to step up and buy into our program. We are right where I thought we would be in terms of our training with the goal of running our best in October."
A special guest was able to make his way to Denton as former Mean Green track standout Dr. Victor Rodriguez was the official starter for the men's race. Also the men's race was officially named Dr. Victor Rodriguez men's collegiate.
1. North Texas 42
2. TCU 51
3. Oklahoma 82
4. Baylor 96
5. UT Arlington 101
6. Abilene Christian 159
1. Baylor 25
2. UT Arlington 48
3. North Texas 64
4. Oklahoma 121
5. Abilene Christian 136
6. TCU 152
Next up for North Texas
The Mean Green will have two weeks off to prepare for the Chile Pepper Classic hosted by Arkansas Oct. 1 starting at 9:45 a.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
-The first place collegiate finish for Susannah Lynch was her first cross country title.
-Junior Brittany White set a new personal best time of 19:15.4 at the Ken Garland invite.
-Only the second home meet title for the women's team since 2005 with the other win coming in 2010.