The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi cross country teams head to Baylor this weekend for the 2008 NCAA South Central Region meet in Waco on the Cottonwood Creek Country Club. The women will run at 10 a.m. with the men to follow at 10:45.
The women enter the meet on a roll having repeated as the Southland Conference champions nearly two weeks ago. They are currently ranked seven in the region.
"The region is the toughest it has been in many years," said Islander head coach Shawn Flanagan. "We have four teams in the top 22, which we haven't had in while."
Flanagan would like to see his team continue its trend of improving at each meet this season. If they continue the improvement, the Islander mentor believes his team can pass one if not both of the teams ranked directly ahead of them Texas and Texas A&M.
"I do think we have the potential to finish better than our ranking entering the meet," said Flanagan. "The women have gotten better each time out and if we do a good job of grouping ourselves I think we can move one if not two spots. At the same time we don't want to let any of the teams behind us catch us."
Individually, Flanagan believes Anne Ronoh has the potential to battle for a spot in the NCAA Championships as an individual.
"Anne has a shot at being one of the two runners from region to make the national meet as an individual," he said. "The NCAA takes the top two individual runners not on a national qualifying team and I think she will be one of four battling for that spot along with UTSA's Dana Mecke. She will need to finish in the top 15 to do so and four teams will have to qualify from the region as a team."
After placing third at the SLC meet, the Islander men will be looking to improve their current 10th-place ranking entering the meet. The team has been ranked as high as seven in the region this season.
"The guys have certainly been motivated to do better than they did at the Southland Conference meet," said Flanagan. "The conference meet didn't go as we had hoped and they have used that as their impetus in training.
"I think if we can improve on how we ran earlier at Arkansas then we can finish in the top seven. I would like to see us be the top Southland team behind Lamar, who I think can contend for a team spot in the national meet."