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North Texas cross country team competes for C-USA championship

North Texas cross country team competes for C-USA championship

North Texas cross country team competes for C-USA championship
October 24
14:56 2018

The Mean Green cross country team has their sights set on the upcoming Conference USA championship meet scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27 in Boca Raton, Florida.

The women will compete in a 5,000-meter race, while the men will run 8,000 meters. Eleven of the 13 schools in C-USA will bring a men’s team, while Southern Mississippi and Alabama-Birmingham only have women’s teams.

In the Arturo Barrios Invitational at Texas A&M University on Oct. 13, the Mean Green men’s team placed No. 8 overall in the 8,000-meter race, and the women placed No. 20 in the 6,000-meter race.

Junior Florian Lussy was the top competitor for the Mean Green, crossing the finish line in No. 17 with a time of 24 minutes, 55.6 seconds on the men’s side. Senior Rea Iseli finished No. 16 overall for the women — the top finisher for the Mean Green with a time of 21 minutes, 12.7 seconds. The humid conditions of the race caused a few heat-induced injuries that led to some of the Mean Green athletes being unable to finish.

“Being consistent is a huge thing for me this year,” Iseli said. “You have to train any way you can, so I just try to cheer up and run.”

Head coach Kevin Williams expects the same hot and humid conditions in Florida, but he thinks his team to be ready for the weather this time around.

The rainy weather conditions in Denton have affected some of the training the team has been able to go through. Despite this, the team has been running 70-80 miles a week in six training sessions.

“It’s a lifestyle with a heavy workload and big volume,” Williams said. “You have to eat right and get to bed on time because as soon as we can see sunlight, we are going at it.”

Three all-conference teams will be determined at the championship meet. The first seven finishers will be designated as All-Conference USA first team, followed by second team honors going to finishers No. 8 through No. 14, and runners placing No. 15 through No. 21 will be in the third team.

The Mean Green’s youth will present a challenge as the conference championship race has less competitors than usual, and the score will be tighter. The scoring is additive, and the lowest scores wins, therefore gaining one or two spots or falling behind during the race can make a dramatic difference in the total scores.

In the last two C-USA championships, the men’s team placed No. 4 on both occasions, and while the women placed No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. The Mean Green are looking to improve on their previous results, and with no significant injuries, North Texas is ready to put all their training and preparation to the test.

“This year we have eight guys on the team, but we are really close together,” Lussy said. “We can all score in the top five usually, so I am really excited.”

Featured Image: (L-R) Junior Florian Lussy, senior Cassidy Adams, sophomore Jack Beaumont and senior Rea Iseli cool down after their 6-mile morning practice run Wednesday. Jordan Collard

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Josue Hernandez

Josue Hernandez

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