North Texas Cross Country Teams Head To C-USA Championships
The Conference Championships Will Be Hosted By Western Kentucky Oct. 31
DENTON – The North Texas men’s and women’s cross country teams will look to bring home titles at the Conference USA championships Saturday, Oct. 31 starting at 9 a.m. in Bowling Green, KY.
Western Kentucky will be hosting the championship at the Spero Kereiakes Park. The men’s 8k race will start at 9 a.m. and the women’s 5k race will start tentatively at 10 a.m. The Mean Green men’s squad recently competed at the Pre-Nationals meet and has had two weeks to prepare for the conference championships.
“The past two weeks we have focused on rest, recovery and feeling sharp in our last workout leading up to Saturday’s race,” cross country coach Stefanie Slekis said.
In 2014, the Mean Green men’s team came away with their first team title scoring 50 points defeating UTEP by eight. Troy Taylor made first team all-conference after a third place finish with a time of 24:15.1. Five more North Texas runners earned all-conference honors by placing in the top 21 in Alejandro Valencia, James Coleman, Bryce McAndrew, Silvester Harrison III and Mike Lowe.
The women’s team came in third last season after placing four runners in the top 21. Former runner Charlotte Wilson led the team with a fourth place finish earning first team all-conference. Shauna Pali came in 15th, Susie Kemper was 18th and Magdalena Escobar finished 20th to earn all-conference status. This season the women’s team has been consistently running in the top three and is coming off a stellar race at the Texas Longhorn Invitational.
“I definitely think our women's team can surprise some people,” said Slekis. “They had an amazing block of training after the Texas Longhorn Invitational and have been doing a great job of taking care of the little things the past month to feel their best to run hard on Saturday.”
In the regional rankings, the men’s team sits fifth and will be looking to catch nationally ranked UTEP who comes into the conference championship with a No. 11 ranking. The women’s team is 10th in the region and is hoping to chase down Rice who is sixth.
“The key to winning is working together,” added Slekis. “The strength of our program is in our depth. It's not up to one person for us to take home a Championship. They'll get out there and race hard with their teammates that have pushed each other all fall and great things can happen. Our men's and women's teams believe they can win and they have put in the training to put us in a position where that can be a reality Saturday.”