Cross Country Regional Meet Set For Saturday
Nov. 12, 2004
The TCU men's and women's cross country teams travel to Waco on Saturday to take part in the South Central Region Cross Country Championships. The women will compete in a 6K event, while the men will move up to a 10,000 meter course. The top two teams along with the top four individuals in each race automatically advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Terre Haute, Indiana on Monday, November 22.
"The level of competition at the regional meet is intense," noted TCU coach Patrick Cunniff. "It is similar to the conference meet, but it takes on an added importance because this is how you qualify for nationals. It's a one-shot deal. It makes for a very competitive meet. "The top two teams automatically advance," continued Cunniff. "We go in ranked sixth in the region (on the women's side). The top three teams, SMU, Arkansas and Baylor, are excellent teams. All three have been ranked in the top 25 this season. It will take five great races for us to be in that mix."
TCU will once again be led by Mary Kinyanjui. Kinyanjui has won back-to-back Conference USA individual titles and is the defending South Central Region Cross Country champion. The senior from Kiambu, Kenya who was recently named to the Conference USA Cross Country All-Decade team, completed the 6K course in 20:44 to earn a spot in the NCAA meet a year ago. Her performance led the TCU women to a fourth place finish. Calandra Stewart, who has been TCU's second runner all season, looks for her second all-region certificate after placing 13th as a freshman a year ago. Junior Katrina Zielinski, sophomores McKale Davis and Pattie Parker, and freshmen Halie Bullin and Cassie Hostick round out the TCU seven-person contingent.
On the men's side, the Frogs will be looking to improve on their 15th place finish from a year ago. The men will be represented by Houston Bolin, Johnathan Bundren, David Harris, Steven Lenney, Brett McKnight, Alex Morris and J.T. Reinert. Morris was the Frogs' top finisher at the Conference USA meet two weeks ago. Freshman Matt Manly, who has been TCU's top runner for most of the fall campaign, will not compete due to a bad back.
"This will be a great learning experience for our men," said Cunniff. "It's the last meet of the season, so it's the last chance to turn in a good performance, which can carry over to the track season and to next year's cross country season."
The meet will take place at the Cottonwood Creek Golf course, located at 5200 Bagby Avenue in Waco. The women's race gets underway at 10 a.m., with the men following at 11:15 a.m.