Oct. 27, 2011
Arlington, Texas - The UT Arlington men's and women's cross country teams compete for the Southland Conference title Monday, October 31 at the SLC meet in Nacogdoches, Texas.
The women's team is led by sophomore Emily Koenig, the 2010 Southland Conference Female Athlete of the Year. Koenig won the individual championship last season and head coach John Sauerhage said she's ready for another strong performance.
"Emily has had a few ups and downs this season, but I think she's ready to have a big race," said Sauerhage. "She won the race last year, so another high finish would set us in the right direction. Jennifer Carey and Maria Sandstrom are both capable of finishing in the top-10 which would help us challenge for the championship."
The women's team finished fourth place last season behind Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and McNeese State.
The men's team will be led by junior Cody Widener. Widener is coming off a 90th place finish at the Chili Pepper Invitational and has consistently been the fastest runner on the men's team this season.
"Our men's team is coming off its best performance of the year," Sauerhage said. "Cody Widener has been our top finisher and he ran well at the Chili Pepper Invitational with a time around 31 minutes, which is a good time for him. He's very capable of a high finish, and Emil Blomberg and David Rayo have also been running well."
The men's team finished 7th place last year, led by Widener's 24th place finish. David Rayo took 46th place for the second-highest finish by a Maverick.
Coach Sauerhage said both teams have a different blueprint needed for a strong showing. On the men's team, Cody Widener is expected to have a solid finish and Sauerhage said there are several runners who could finish in the teens and twenties.
However, he said the women's team expects a top heavy performance.
"To do well in a conference cross country meet you have to have a front runner. You have to have at least one athlete near the front of the pack. And with Maria, Jennifer and Emily we have three that can run near the top 10 and help us get a low score."
"We're excited, we're peaking well and we'll be ready to run on Monday." Race time is set for 9 a.m.
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