Southland Conference Cross Country Championships
Friday, Oct. 27 • 8:30 a.m. (women’s 6K) • 9:30 a.m. (men’s 8K)
Abilene, Texas • Abilene Christian University • ACU XC Course
Live Results • Live Stream • @BearkatsTFXC on Twitter
ABILENE – After three regular-season meets, Sam Houston State will find out where it sits in the Southland Conference, racing at the league championships on Friday morning from the ACU Cross Country Course.
The women’s 6K begins competition at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by the men’s 8K at 9:30 a.m. Both races will stream live via Facebook Live at facebook.com/southlandsports as the Kats look to follow up a pair of strong results a season ago.
Last year at the event, the Sam Houston women matched their best finish in program history, finishing runner-up, led by a pair of top five finishers. The squad finished with 106 total points while eleven points separated second through fifth place.
Meanwhile, the men posted their highest finish since 2008, taking fifth with 131 points. The two teams will look for individuals to step up after graduating their top-three combined runners. Ana Moreno finished runner-up, Olivia Olguin finished fifth and Chris Speaks took fifth.
Sam Houston earned one athlete of the week honor during the 2017 regular season as Jordan Leon was named Southland Conference men’s runner of the week on Sept. 12 after capturing runner-up among 75 competitors at Rice’s Norry Hersey Invitational.
The two teams last competed Oct. 6 at the Aggieland Open. There, Leon took fourth for the men and Hannah Tarrant finished fifth. Other top-20 competitors included David Zavala (10th), Alex Hernandez (14th) and Meaghen Seales (18th).
For those athletes who qualify, the NCAA South Central Regional qualifying race will take place on Friday, Nov. 10 in College Station. The 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be held in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Head coach Jesse Parker on the feel of each team entering the championships…
“Right now we are mostly trying to treat this like any other meet we go to. We don't want to rely on superhuman performances to be successful. We just want to execute a good race plan and run to our maximal fitness level. We have been talking the past few weeks about individual goals and team expectations; but right now, this close to the race, we are just keeping the mood light and relaxed. We don't want anyone to stress out or over-analyze anything.”
Head coach Jesse Parker on what it will take to have a quality race day…
“At this point in the season, we mostly talk about just being competitive. We want each athlete to let their racing instincts and fitness take over. Everything should come naturally by now.”
Head coach Jesse Parker on the course set up and the environment…
“The course is a pretty simple 2000m loop. The men will cover it 4 times and the women will cover it 3 times. There are no real hills or elevation changes, at least by Huntsville standards. It's going to be colder than what we are accustomed to and windy, but the beauty of cross country is that everyone has to compete over the same course and in the same conditions. So it's all about being mentally focused on executing a good race, regardless of conditions.”