DENTON (10/26/05) Despite a change in venue for the 2005 Aropostale Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Championships, the Mean Green remains focused on bringing the title home to Denton.
Conference officials made the decision to move the meet from Miami to Bowling Green, Ky. due to the damage in South Florida caused by Hurricane Wilma.
“The kids kept asking me earlier in the week, 'where are we going?', but I kept telling them it doesn’t matter,” said cross country coach Toby Reep. “They just needed to stay focused on their running, and I think that is exactly what they did.”
Both the men and women seem to be hitting their strides after what coaches are calling the best week of practice this season.
The men, who battled injuries and illness all year, look to contend for their first conference crown since 2000. The Mean Green is led by Frank Ngeno, who has two top-ten finishes on the season. The junior, who was unable to finish last year’s SBC meet due to illness, has posted the team’s top times this season.
A talented freshman class, led by newcomer Gary Lackey, should also contribute for the Mean Green. Lackey notched the team’s top finish of the season in a third place effort at the UTA Invitational.
Juniors Jill Brennan and Cassie Storms are setting the pace for a trio of freshman on the women’s team. Brennan, a regional qualifier in 2004, has recorded two top-ten finishes in 2005, and has posted the team’s top finish in each of the meets. Storms hasn’t been far behind, finishing no farther than 45 second back of Brennan all year. Storms finished 18th in both the UTA and NT Invitationals.
Freshmen Michelle Gallegos, Ashley Sanders and Alex Sherwin will all look make waves in their first trips to the conference championships.
Florida International University was set to host the meet on Saturday at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, but with widespread damage in and around Miami and uncertainty concerning flights, the school announced that the championships would be best served by moving to a different location. Western Kentucky University will now host this year’s meet at Kereiakes Park.
The men’s 8K race will begin at 11:00 a.m., with the women’s 5K beginning at Noon. The meet will still be streamed over the Internet at www.sunbeltsports.org. The time of the web cast is to be determined.
2005 Aropostale Sun Belt CC Championship Notes