DENTON (9/1/3)- The North Texas men and women's cross country teams are gearing up for the start of the 2003 season. The men and women will be competing in the UTA Invitational on Saturday, September 6 to start an exciting year for both teams.
The Mean Green are led by Sr. Matt Gieringer, an all-Conference runner his freshman year, who helped lead the Eagles to the 2000 Cross-Country Championship. Gieringer has rebounded nicely from 2 injury-plagued seasons, finishing 13th at last year’s 2002 SBC meet. Justin Kauffman and Brad Thompson (31st at the 2002 SBC meet) also return from last year’s squad.
Kauffman had an outstanding Sophomore year, finishing in the top 6 in both the 1500 (4th place) and 800 (6th place) at last year’s Outdoor track Championship. Kauffman also finished in 17th place at the Cross-Country Championship last year. Newcomer Josh Rogers (New Mexico State High School Champion in Mile Run) leads a big group of freshman who must contribute if the Mean Green are going to contend for the Sun Belt Cross-Country title.
With only 2 returners from last year’s 7th place squad, the Lady Eagles will have a new look in 2003. They are led by Dagmar Salazar, who is coming off of an impressive year. Last year, the Senior placed in the Indoor and Outdoor 5000 meters, as well as the Outdoor 1500. She also was the Lady Eagles top finisher in the Cross-Country Championship, placing 21st.
Kelly Faszholz also competed in last year’s SBC Championship. Seven newcomers will join the roster in 2003, including Jessica Schmidt and Jillian Brennan, both from Canada. Schmidt is a transfer from Grand Prairie Regional College, and finished 2nd in the Canadian College Athletic Association League Championships last year. Brennan, a Freshman, was a gold medallist at the 2002 Legion Nationals in the 3000 meters, and was the City of Fredericton’s Athlete of the Year. Junior Brenda Bernal, is a transfer from El Paso Community College, finishing 40th at the NJCAA National Meet in 2002