XC: Harriers return this weekend at Cowboy Jamboree

Sydney Hampton and the UTA women will compete in the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday.

Sept. 25, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas - Following a one-week hiatus, the UT Arlington cross country teams return to action Saturday morning in Stillwater, Okla., at the Cowboy Jamboree, the nation's longest-running collegiate meet. It is the beginning of the meat of the schedule for both squads.

In the university division of the Cowboy Jamboree, 17 men's and 17 women's teams make up the field. On the men's side, the top two teams in the country, No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Northern Arizona, will be competing.

The Maverick men placed third at the UTA Season Opener on Sept. 14 and enter the event ranked 13th in the South Central Regional rankings. Junior Ryan Tilotta finished seventh for the Mavs in the team's 2013 debut.

"We are looking forward to seeing how we fare against the best in the country," head coach John Sauerhage said. "Our guys trained really hard over the summer, but ultimately, it comes down to how we race. We will find out what we are made of over the next couple weeks."

Meanwhile, the women enter the meet ranked eighth in the South Central after a runner-up showing at the UTA Season Opener greatly raised the team's profile. Sophomore Gabriela Alfonzo paced the Mavs with a fifth-place landing.

"We have a talented group of ladies and we owe them a shot to compete against a field like this," Sauerhage said. "We will see how we can fare against national caliber competition and it will be great preparation for the league meet."

Following this weekend's race, the Mavericks will also have high-profile meets at the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 4 in South Bend, Ind.) and Crimson Classic (Oct. 18 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.) prior to competing in the Sun Belt Conference Championships on Nov. 2.

"Competing in meets like these should make us faster, stronger and tougher," Sauerhage said. "That's why we put together as tough of a schedule as we have. In order to take the next step, we have to perform well at big meets."



Also on Saturday, the men's squad will take a group of runners to North Texas to compete in the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton.



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