November 13, 2009

ISLANDER CROSS COUNTRY READY TO COMPETE AT NCAA REGIONALS

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's and women's cross country teams will travel to the NCAA South Central Regional hosted by Baylor University at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.

Coming off a third straight conference championship, the Islander women will have their work cut out for them with a deep field. Teams competing will be SMU, Arkansas, Baylor, Texas, Rice, Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin.

"For the women again we hope to improve on our seventh place finish from last year. We are ranked eighth going in," said cross country head coach Shawn Flanagan "Anne is going for another national qualifying spot and she would like some company at the National meet. In order for that to happen we will have to finish in the top four.

"That is possible if any four of Meghan Lemke, Faith Barlow, Courtney Johnson, Sheila Salil, Sarah De Los Santos, Kristine Torres or BreAnne Briggs has a big day," added Flanagan.

In addition, Houston, TCU, UT Arlington, North Texas, UTSA, McNeese State and Arkansas-Little Rock will be in the field in Waco.

The Islander men, who finished fifth at the Southland Conference Championships, will also face a competitive field. In order of the latest regional rankings, teams competing are Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Southland Champion Lamar, McNeese State, UTSA, Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas-Little Rock, Rice, and Houston.

"On the men's side we hope to improve on our ranking of 11th in the Region. There are about 40 schools in the region. It would be good to be in the top 10 and improve over our ninth place finish from last year," said Flanagan "With 4 out of seven running being frosh we also hope to gain some good experience at the meet that will pay dividends in the future"

Rounding out the regional rankings are Baylor, Texas-Pan American, Houston Baptist and Arkansas Pine Bluff.

The top two teams from each of the nine NCAA regional's, along with 13 at-large teams, earn bids to the NCAA Championships. Individually, the top four runners not on a qualifying team can earn a bid as well.