Cross Country Teams Host Ken Garland Invitational
Women’s 5k Race Followed By Men’s 4 Mile
DENTON – The North Texas men’s and women’s cross country teams host the Ken Garland Invitational Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Eagle Point Cross Country Course behind Apogee Stadium.
The women’s 5k race will start at 8:10 a.m. with the men’s 4 mile run immediately following around 8:40 a.m.
“The goal is to keep teaching ourselves how to run in packs and close a race hard,” head coach Stefanie Slekis said. “This weekend is another great opportunity for our athletes to race on a course they are familiar with and try to focus on making the first two thirds of the race feel controlled as they work in packs and then “flip the switch” and really hammer the last mile of race. In less than two months we want to be able to close hard off of an aggressive early pace so we’re continuing to teach our bodies in workouts and these early races how to really turn over the last 1k to 1mile of the race.”
The men’s team is coming off a perfect first-place finish at the Bear Twilight back on Sept. 1. Junior James Coleman took home first with a time of 18:21.6 and senior Troy Taylor followed in second at 18:25.7 Classmate Bryce McAndrew finished third with a time of 18:33.1 with senior Silvester Harrison III coming in fourth at 18:36.7. Junior Grady Frazier completed the perfect score with a fifth-place showing at 18:37.3
Other schools competing on the men’s side will be Louisiana Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma and TCU. On the women’s side will be SMU, Baylor, Oklahoma and TCU.
“This meet is a bit more competitive on both the men’s and women’s sides so it is just another progressive step as we continue to build fitness before the championship portion of the season.,” Slekis said. “This is the last meet before the countable season where you can score at large points towards qualifying for NCAAs so it is another great opportunity to take some risks for each individual in their race plan and really push themselves to the limit to have a really clear picture of where we are as we continue to build in our training.”
The women’s squad finished a career-best third at the Bear Twilight with senior Magdalena Escobar leading the way with a seventh place finish at 14:20. Junior Shauna Pali came in 10th with a time of 14:24.5 and sophomore Christina Moralez finished 18th at 14:41.5. Freshman Cassidy Adams placed 26th in her first collegiate race with a time of 15:10.2.
Fans are encouraged to come out and support the runners as the men’s team looks to defend its title from last season. The event is co-hosted by Northwest high school and there will be a North Texas Community 5k starting at noon.