XC: Cross country to close out regular season at Alabama
Oct. 15, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington men's and women's cross country teams will have their final test prior to the Sun Belt Conference Championships this Friday when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Classic.
"It's our last meet before conference, so it's important to run well as a team and perform like we're capable of," head coach John Sauerhage said. "There's no reason to think we can't put together our best races of the year on both sides."
The women will run the Harry Pritchett Running Park course first at 5 p.m. (CT), while the men will follow 30 minutes later. The site has previously hosted the NCAA Regionals as well as the Southeastern Conference Championships.
On the men's side, a number of regionally-ranked men's teams will be participating, including UT Arlington, currently 15th in the South Central Region. Among the notable schools among the 24 men's teams are: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Also participating will be Sun Belt foes Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama and Troy, as well as Alabama State, Belmont, Florida A&M, Houston, Jacksonville State, Louisiana Tech, Loyola-New Orleans, Mississippi Valley, Rice, Sam Houston State, Samford, South Florida, Stephen F. Austin and Stillman.
"The men are hungry for a result they can be proud of," Sauerhage said. "We've had a good season, but it hasn't always shown in the meet results. Contending for a top spot at Alabama would set us up for a good conference meet."
The UTA women, ranked 13th in the region, will also contend with a tough field. Florida State, the nation's No. 2 team, as well as 25th-ranked Vanderbilt are among the 27 schools at the Crimson Classic. However, UTA will also be running alongside Sun Belt schools Georgia State, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama and Troy.
"It's a preview of some of the important matchups we are going to have at the Sun Belt Championships," Sauerhage said. "We're really excited about Friday and ready to run well."
Alabama, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Auburn, Belmont, Davidson, Houston, Jacksonville State, Loyola-New Orleans, LSU, Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley, Sam Houston State, Samford, South Florida, Southern Miss, Stephen F. Austin, Stillman, Tennessee and West Alabama also will compete.
Following Friday's action, the Mavericks will rest up for their first Sun Belt Conference Championships on Nov. 2 in Troy, Ala.