Cross country marks a mile beyond last year’s success
The women’s cross country team has been hard at work, as they’ve practiced for several weeks now to prepare for their season opener at the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Preview this Friday.
After a successful season in which the women’s team finished in 12th place at the NCAA South Central Regional, the Cougars will aim to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The following runners will be a pivotal part of the Cougars’ success this season.
Senior Maddie Brown
Brown has distinguished herself as the leader among the women runners during her time at UH.
Despite finishing in ninth place at the American Athletic Conference Championships as a team, Brown excelled for the Cougars. Over five events, she was the team’s top finisher, which included a top-25 finish at the American Championships 6K.
Following her successful campaign, Brown promptly transitioned with the rest of her teammates to track.
She continued her success during track, momentarily holding the school record in the 5000m and scoring valuable points for the Cougars at numerous events.
Brown was crucial to the team in the Indoor and Outdoor American Athletic Conference Championships: She managed a top-15 finish in the 5000m at both meets, a top-25 finish in the indoor 3000m, and a top-10 finish in the outdoor 10,000m.
Being her last cross-country season for the Cougars, she will look toward ending on a high note and run the best possible time for the team. She will also help prepare her teammates for the seasons after her departure.
Redshirt senior Selena Sierra
After a junior cross country season where she was one of the top competitors for the Cougars, Selena Sierra redshirted this previous season for unclear reasons.
But now that she is back, Sierra will hit the ground sprinting. She has given the team no reason to doubt that she can return to where she left off after her success last season.
In addition to finishing fifth in the 5000m at the Indoor American Athletic Conference Championships and re-breaking her school record, Sierra took first place in the 3000m steeplechase at the outdoor competition. She finished with a time of 10:31.07.
With her career at UH soon to be over, Sierra has completely committed herself to cross country and will score valuable points for the team with hard-fought finishes.
Sophomore Meredith Sorensen
Sorensen was highly recruited out of Utica High School in Michigan and impressed the Cougar staff during her freshman season.
One of the key members to her high school team’s success, Sorensen was able to easily make the transition to the Cougars. At the American Cross Country Championships last season, Sorensen managed her second best time in the 6K with a time of 21:57.12, which was good enough for 30th place.
Sorensen, along with her teammates, transitioned to track following cross country’s conclusion, and she continued to perform at a high level during the indoor season.
Sorensen competed in six meets for the Cougars, and most notably helped the team to a seventh place finish in the distance medley relay at the American Championships.
She will likely to become stronger and develop as a runner. Sorensen will be counted on to accomplish big things for the Cougars — especially if they want to improve on their overall performance from last season.