Oct. 30, 2005

NATCHITOCHES, La. - UTA sophomore Jodi Hulett (Arlington, Texas) will try to become the first Maverick to claim the Southland Conference individual championship since Stacy Poole in 1996 as she leads UTA at the 2005 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships here Monday.

UTA, who finished in fifth place a year ago, will try and knock off defending champion Lamar.

The event was moved from Beaumont, Texas, after Hurricane Rita struck. It will be held at the Demon Hills Golf Course in Natchitoches, La., which has been the site of four of the last eight SLC Cross Country Championships, most recently in 2002. The women's run will follow the men's race at 10:30 a.m., covering a 6K course and contending for the 21st championship trophy in Southland history. The 42nd-annual 8,000-meter men's championship gets under way at 9:30 a.m.

Hulett earned all-SLC honors with a fourth-place finish as a freshman. See leads a squad that boasts depth with seniors Ivorita Taylor (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) and Heather Isbell (Keller, Texas). Both have posted top 20 finishes this season. Freshman Caroline Erlingson (Angelholm, Sweden) also claimed a top 20 finish with ninth place at the UTA Opener on Sept. 10.

"We have had a lot of trouble gaining respect in the league," said UTA Women's Cross Country Coach John Sauerhage. "We ran just three meets this fall due to the cancellation of the SMU meet. I think that has helped and hurt us at the same time. We are healthier than we were a year ago, but we haven't seen much live competition either. I think it puts us in a sleeper team. Jodi should be in contention and will run with the frontrunners."

"Any of our one through six runners could finish in the top five," said Sauerhage. "We have a lot of depth compared to a year ago."

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