Men’s Cross Country Poses Strong Threat At Pre-Nationals
Men’s Team Will Face Top Teams In the Nation
DENTON – Coming off a first-place finish on the road at Texas two weeks ago, the North Texas men’s cross country team is looking for more history this weekend at the Pre-Nationals meet hosted by Louisville.
The men’s race will start Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 a.m. (CT) at the E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park. The Pre-Nationals meet serves as a pre-cursor for the national championships held at the same place on Nov. 21. It gives North Texas an opportunity to see the course a month before a possible national championship appearance.
“We're the 16th best team going into the meet based on the latest USTFCCCA poll, so a Top 10 finish would be a successful outing since we would beat at least two top-30 ranked teams and five of the team's receiving votes in the national poll,” cross country coach Stefanie Slekis said. “Our ultimate goal is to score close to 250 points which some years has been good enough for fifth place which this year would mean beating six nationally ranked teams.”
The Mean Green, who is ranked No. 3 in the South Central Region, will be running with multiple ranked opponents, including conference rivals No. 13 in the nation UTEP. Other nationally ranked teams include Colorado (No. 1), Oregon (No. 3), Georgetown (No. 10), Arkansas (No. 13), Louisville (No. 17), California (No. 22), Colorado State (No. 23), Southern Utah (No. 25), Air Force (No. 29) and Texas (No. 30).
The teams are only allowed to bring seven runners so North Texas’ lineup includes senior Troy Taylor, junior James Coleman, sophomore Mike Lowe, senior Bryce McAndrew, classmate Silvester Harrison III, juniors Grady Frazier and Cody Campbell. These seven runners have produced three first place finishes in four races as a team.
“The team is hungry to score at large points going into this meet,” Slekis said. “We've really focused on the process this year and on seizing the opportunity we have at each meet. The guys aren't thinking about conference or regionals this week they're focusing on making the most of the opportunity they have this Saturday, which means going out hard and competing against 11 nationally ranked teams.”
Results for each race can be found at www.pttiming.com and on the official website of Louisville athletics at www.gocards.com.