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Mens’ cross country fails to defend C-USA crown, women finish seventh

Mens’ cross country fails to defend C-USA crown, women finish seventh

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

Mens’ cross country fails to defend C-USA crown, women finish seventh
October 31
18:33 2015

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

The North Texas men’s cross country team came into the Conference USA championships looking to defend last season’s conference title, but they fell behind the University of Texas at El Paso (26) and Middle Tennessee State University (67) with a score of 102.

Junior Grady Frazier earned his first career all-conference finish and seniors Silvester Harrison III and Bryce McAndrew each clinched their third. Sophomore Mike Lowe led the Mean Green men’s team with a ninth place finish at 24:57.9.

Lowe improved 12 spots from last year’s conference meet for his second straight all-conference award but does not feel satisfied with the men’s team not repeating as conference champs.

“We knew UTEP would be a difficult team to beat and Middle Tennessee ran well today too, but I feel like we could’ve done better,” Lowe said.

Behind Lowe, seniors Bryce McAndrew and Silvester Harrison III came in at 12th and 17th place and juniors Grday Frazier and Cody Campbell finished 21st and 28th.

For the women, senior Magdalena Escobar led the team with a 21st place finish at 18:33.6 earning her second all-conference honor. Sophomore Christina Moralez finished 25th,  and junior Shauna Pali came in at 44th. Freshman Catalina Uriarfe and Cassidy Adams rounded out the top five for North Texas.

Pali, who battled a stomach virus all week prior to the race, did not feel pleased with her performance against the top teams in the conference.

“I had to go to the doctor Tuesday because I haven’t slept and ate too well,” Pali said. “I didn’t feel too fast today.”

Head coach Stefanie Slekis said she knew the race would be tough for the women’s team, and Pali falling ill the week of the C-USA championships made it even tougher for the team to compete at a high level.

“They could’ve been a lot better today,” Slekis said. “Shauna had a stomach virus all week and didn’t eat until Thursday, but we can still bounce back and finish in the top 25 at regionals and be in the hunt to be a top three conference team next year.”

Slekis liked seeing the depth of the women’s team with two freshman finishing in the top five for the Mean Green with six seniors leaving at the season’s end.

Freshman Catalina Uriarfe set her personal best time of 19:15.1 at the conference meet.

“Our freshmen have so much potential to help carry the team in the future,” Slekis said. “Catalina has been really exciting to watch this season as we’ve kept her mileage down.”

With the NCAA South Central Regional meet two weeks away, Slekis feels confident the depth on both squads can run with any team it faces.

“We won’t rely on one person to have a high finish,” Slekis said. “If everyone runs their best, the women can be top 10 and the men can finish in the top four.”

The NCAA South Central Regionals hosted by Texas A&M will take place Nov. 13th in College Station.

Featured Image: Courtesy | North Texas Athletics

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