Mean Green Cross Country Heads To NCAA South Central Regional
North Texas Hoping To Qualify For Nationals
DENTON - The North Texas men's and women's cross country teams will take part in the NCAA South Central Regionals Friday, Nov. 11 hosted by Arkansas at Agri Park.
The women's 6k will start at 11 a.m. and the men's 10k will run immediately after the women's race at noon. The top two teams and the first four finishers in the race not associated with those two teams will advance to the NCAA Championships Nov. 19 at Terre Haute.
"The team has been sticking to our season plan since conference," cross country coach Stefanie Slekis said. "We took a couple days to recover from travel and then had two nice workout sessions plus our regular mileage days. We are fit and sharp heading into the NCAA South Central Regional championship. I'm excited for the men to be able to race 10k for the first time this season and the women to race 6k for the first time this season. All of our workouts this season geared toward the increase in race distance at the end of the season so all we have to do now is go out and race with confidence and execute our race plans."
The men's team will be sending seven runners in senior James Coleman, junior Mike Lowe, freshman Florian Lussy, redshirt freshman Alex Cleveland, junior Zach Kirkland, sophomore Kyle Maloney and junior Rick Nally. The North Texas record in the 10k is held by former standout Troy Taylor set in 2014 with a time of 30:01.6.
"The main goal for each team is to go out and beat our current regional ranking," Slekis said. "The men were ranked 10th in the latest poll and the women were ranked 11th. The men know that the competition will be close between third place all the way to 10th. If we go out and perform to our highest fitness level there is the potential to have a very strong showing by matching their best regional finish in the past 10 years of fourth in 2014."
The women's team will be bringing sophomore Susannah Lynch, junior Christina Moralez, senior Kylee Kittrell, sophomore Kellee McCann, junior Brittany White, sophomore Baylee Nelson, freshman Jennifer White and sophomore Cassidy Adams.
Lynch is coming off a strong showing at the C-USA championships placing fourth and could make a run at the school record held by Charlotte Wilson (20:42.4) in the 6k event. The women's team enters the regional ranked No. 11.
"Susannah Lynch definitely has the opportunity to individually qualify for the NCAA Championship if she races as well as she did at the Conference championship," Slekis said. "I am excited to see how she can go out and compete against the best. Her main goal is to walk away with a top-25 finish and earn All-Region honors, but if she puts herself in a good position and runs to her highest level of fitness like she did two weeks ago she knows there is the opportunity to punch her ticket to Terre Haute."