North Texas Daily

Cross country teams falter at South Central Regional

Cross country teams falter at South Central Regional

DENTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26 : North Texas Mean Green Cross Country Ken Garland Meet at Eagle Point in Denton on September 26, 2014 in Denton, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)Courtesy North Texas Athletics

Cross country teams falter at South Central Regional
November 13
19:59 2015

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

North Texas men’s and women’s cross country concluded their seasons in College Station at the NCAA South Central Regional Championship Friday with top 15 finishes. The men placed seventh, down from last year’s fourth place finish. The women’s team came in 13th place after finishing eighth in regionals last year.

“[Today] wasn’t the day we wanted but Bryce [McAndrew] ran well for the men’s team,” Head coach Stefanie Slekis said.

McAndrew led the men’s team with his 17th place finish and earning all-region after running for his new career high time of 30:39.0 in the 10k race.

“I’m super pumped with how I ran today,” McAndrew said. “It was my best finish and time for cross country. I’m never the first finisher. I usually finish in the middle of the pack.”

McAndrew didn’t feel too happy about the team’s overall performance.

“We started too fast, too quick,” the senior said. “We were tired and hurt with injuries.”

One of the Mean Green’s significant injuries sidelined senior Troy Taylor, one of the top runners in the Conference USA who won multiple C-USA awards this season despite not running at 100 percent.

Taylor felt excited for the men’s team’s top 10 finish but noticed things needing improvement while watching the race from the sidelines.

“When you’re watching from the side you see things,” Taylor said. “We didn’t run at our full potential but top 10’s good.”

Taylor and the rest of the men’s squad were not pleased to finish behind the likes of Baylor University, Stephen F. Austin University and Lamar University, teams they beat earlier in the season. Lamar finished fourth in the regional meet with SFA and Baylor landing at fifth and sixth respectively.

On the bright side for the men’s season, the Mean Green received national votes for the first time in school history after beating a higher ranked University of Texas Longhorns squad at the UT Invitational Oct. 2.

The women’s team dropped five places since last year’s top 10 regional finish. Junior Shauna Pali led the women’s squad but came in 59th at the regional meet with a time of 21:36.0.

“The whole season was up and down for all of us,” Pali said. “Our girls are pretty disappointed, and I’m disappointed in myself. I should’ve [finished] higher. I should’ve been all-region.”

On the bright side for the women’s squad, the team ranked in the regional polls every week this fall and sophomore Cristina Moralez set a personal best time of 21:40.7 in the 6k event. Slekis thinks the youth of the women’s team played a role in the team’s disappointing season.

“This was a building year for us, but consistency is what we want as a program,” Slekis said.

Sophomore Mike Lowe ran a personal best regional finish in 47th place and senior Alexander Hita also set a personal best tie of 31:50.4 in the 10k race.

With the end of the 2015 North Texas cross country season, the runners get the holiday season off before the beginning of indoor track competition Jan. 15.

Featured Image: Courtesy | Rick Yeatts 

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