Cross country team ready for championships

The Southland Conference Cross-Country Championships will be held on Monday, Nov. 3 at Raven’s Nest golf course. The men’s race will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the women will start at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free to the public.

“This is a significant event and marks the second time in less than a year that a Southland Conference Championship will be determined in Huntsville,” said SHSU Assistant Athletic Director and Meet Director, Greg Hinze.

The Sam Houston State cross-country team is coming off a first place finish over a 12-team field, which included six other Southland Conference teams (McNeese State, Texas State, Northwestern State, SFA, Lamar and Nicholls).

“We are very appreciative and grateful for the cooperation we have received from the City of Huntsville and the staff at Raven’s Nest for allowing us to conduct the championship on their course,” said Greg Hinze.

Senior Raul Villarreal, from Houston MacArthur High School, won the Sam Houston State University Intercollegiate Invitation last Friday, covering the five-mile course in 27 minutes and 16 seconds, at Raven’s Nest. Villarreal was also named as Southland Conference Men’s Cross Country “Athlete of the Week” for the second time this season.

Men’s defending champion was SFA and is the favorite to repeat. Sam Houston State was the runner-up last year and returns virtually its entire team. These two teams are the teams to beat.

Nathan Flores from SFA is the defending champion. Other contenders for medals and All-Conference Honors are Sam Houston State’s very own Raul Villarreal, Joe Amburn and Jose Umanzor.

Women’s defending champion was SFA. The women’s field is much more unpredictable than the men’s but SFA has to be considered the favorite. But anything can happen; SFA, Lamar, SHSU, McNeese State and UTA could all win the championship.

Ana Rodriguez from SFA is the defending champion and is an even stronger favorite to repeat than her counterpart on the men’s team. Sam Houston State’s Sarah Hershman and Erika Wright are other strong contenders.

“I know the races are on a Monday morning, but with free admission, I’d like to encourage as many townspeople and students to come out and support the Bearkats,” said Greg Hinze.

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