DENTON, Texas (9/26/08) After a three week break, the North Texas cross country team jumps back into action Saturday morning when they host the Ken Garland Invitational from Eagle Point Campus.
The meet will mark the 2008 debut of Patrick Strong, who sat out the North Texas Invitational earlier this month due to precautionary reasons. North Texas cross country head coach Robert Vaughan has vowed to rest the reigning Newcomer of the Year as much as possible to have him at his strongest for the Sun Belt Conference Championship in November.
“Everyone will be running this week as far as the men goes,” Vaughan said. “They won’t be in the best shape they’ll ever be in but they’ll be fitter than they were three weeks ago. Patrick is going to give it a go so we’re anticipating how he will fare.”
As opposed to the 4k race last meet, the men will take part in an 8k race on Saturday. Last time out the men finished third and were led by Billy Giano who finished fifth in the four mile race with a time of 21:33.07. Brandon Cooper also placed in the top 10 with a seventh place finish at 21:57.43.
The women meanwhile are still trying to gain momentum and get healthy. Jessica Torres will be held out once again as she tries to regain strength for the conference race in November. Sarah Deitz finished in 14th place last time to lead the way for the women.
Although he’s not too concerned with results this week, Vaughan would like to see an improvement from both teams as they make their way towards the conference championship. “We want to get an indication where people are at now and if we’re making progress,” he said. “The weather is not going to be the best but it will be better than last time.”
The meet is scheduled to begin Saturday morning at 8:15 a.m. when the women take part in the 5k race, while the men’s 8k race should start at approximately 8:45 a.m. Other colleges joining North Texas will be UT-Arlington, Northwood, Tarleton, Cameron and Eastern Oklahoma.