SHSU Cross Country Teams Taking a Trip to Aggieland

The preseason is now over for the Sam Houston Bearkat Cross Country team, and now the real season begins for both the men and women this weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational.

This is the first big meet of the year for the Kats, so there is some unknown in terms of what to expect.

“I really do not have expectations. This is our first really big meet so I am really looking forward to just getting out there and competing, and just seeing what happens,” head coach Jesse Parker said. “This is our first test run to see what we are really capable of doing this year”

The Bearkat men and women fared very well in their previous meet at the Islander Splash in Corpus Christi, TX. The men placed two athletes in the top 10, while the women placed four in the top 10.

It is easy to see why the Kats fared so well given how they prepare. The preparation these runners go through is intense. On any given day, these athletes run anywhere between 10 to 20 miles a day, followed by a weight room session.

The emphasis Parker puts in his teams’ preparation is endurance, that is the most important aspect of his training.

“Up until this point our training has been mostly endurance and stamina oriented stuff,” Parker said. “The goal is to try and make the competition race feel like a short race rather than a long race.”

Some runners to watch for this weekend on the men’s side are juniors Robert Monticone, Evan Arambula and Chris Speaks, as well as freshman Jeffrey Moore. For the women, senior Anna Moreno and junior Olivia Olguin are the runners to look out for among a very young female group.

This is the first big meet of the year for the Kats, who will look to use this meet as a measuring stick for the rest of the season. This will be the Kats first of two trips to College Station, TX before the Southland conference championship meet.

“We will see most of the top teams in our conference, so I am excited to see how we compare,” Arambula said. “The team has trained all summer, so it will be fun to witness our hard work pay off. Predicting our place compared to other teams, however, is difficult because every course is different and most teams have not even raced all of their top runner. For many, this will be their season opener.”

The Texas A&M Invitational will take place Saturday.

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