The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's and women's cross country teams return to action Saturday when they head to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the prestigious Chile Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas.
The men, who have won both of their races this season, enter the meet ranked fifth in the South Central Region, while the women are seventh. The women have not run in a race since hosting the Islander Splash while the men ran two weeks ago at Texas Lutheran.
The men's race will cover 10 K, which is the longest course they have run this season after running 8K in their last two meets. The women will be running 6K for the first time after running 5Ks in the past.
"The race will be good prep for both sides for the upcoming conference and region meets," said Islander head coach Shawn Flanagan, whose teams will be joined by fellow Southland Conference teams Lamar and UT Arlington in the field. In all, 34 men's teams and 42 women's teams will compete.
"We have been running really well in training, but this will be a big test against some tough teams that will allow us to gauge just where we are."
Last year, the men's team finished sixth overall led by Shadrack Songok's title, while the women placed 14th. Flanagan thinks both teams have the ability to finish in the Top 10.
"I think we are ready to have a good race on both sides," said the coach. "I think a top 10 finish by both sides is not out of the realm of possibility. If we can achieve that I think we be very happy."