Oct. 26, 2006
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The UT Arlington men's and women's cross country look for their first conference championships in five years as the compete at the 2006 Southland Conference Cross Country Championship at the Pecan Acres Park adjacent to the Stephen F. Austin campus.
The 22nd-annual 6,000-meter women's championship gets under way at 9:30 a.m. The men's run will follow at 10:30 a.m., covering an 8K course and contending for the 43rd championship trophy in Southland history.
All 12 conference members send men's and women's teams to the meet with league newcomers Central Arkansas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi competing in their inaugural SLC championship event. The two joined the Southland Conference on July 1 and are in their first academic year in the league.
UT Arlington will look for their first team title since 2001 when the women won the team title with 66 total points in Nacogdoches. The men's team, who has won three league title (1985, 1992, 1999) last won seven years ago with 49 total points.
The UT Arlington women have posted three top-10 finishes this season, including a fourth-place finish at the Texas A&M Invitational and a sixth-place finish at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree on Sept. 30.
The Mavericks return two runners who posted top-10 finishes at the 2005 SLC Championship - sophomore Caroline Erlingson (Angelholm, Sweden) and junior Jodi Hulett (Arlington, Texas). Erlingson (22:48) and Hulett (22:49) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in last season's 6,000-meter race.
Hulett ran a 21:13.9 for 31st-place at the Chili Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., two weeks ago in her only 6,000-meter race of the season.
Freshman Ida Landgraff (Oslo, Norway) missed the Chili Pepper with an injury, but is expected to return for Friday's race. She has posted three top-25 finishes this season so far, including a 20th-place finish at the Texas A&M Invitational with a time of 19:27 over 5,000 meters.
The top two runners at last year's conference meet return - Stephen F. Austin's Ashley Monteau and Lamar's Renee Graham.
In the men's race, SFA appears poised to make it six titles in a row as all five of their competitors are back for the 2006 season. Cody Clark, a senior, paced SFA and the men's field of 68 runners with a time of 25:34 over the 8,000-meter Demon Hills Golf Course in Natchitoches, La., last year. He finished 12 seconds ahead of second-place Damien Bateman of McNeese State.
Also back for SFA from a year ago are sophomores Teddy Fanta (4th in 2005 at 25:53) and Cole Hollingsworth (6th, 26:09) and seniors Chance Edwards (8th, 26:17) and Rodney Joseph (9th, 26:18).
Hickey has been the top Maverick runner this fall, including a 55th-place finish at the Chili Pepper with a 30:53.1.
Campos has two top-25 finishes this season and Saldivar will compete in just his second race of his career on Friday. He made a quick impact on the squad with a 79-th place finish at the Chili Pepper (31:17.0) two weeks ago.
The 2006 Southland Conference Cross Country Championship results will be available at www.southland.org.
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