UH NOTEBOOK: Cross country returns with added experience

After finishing in the middle of the pack in Conference USA last season, UH’s men’s and women’s cross country teams are looking to inch closer to a conference title this season. The journey begins today when UH hosts the The Johnny Morriss Cross Country Invitational.

While this year’s squad is relatively inexperienced, several returning runners should provide a boost that was absent last season, as both teams started a plethora of freshmen.

The men’s squad features seven sophomores and three freshmen.

Sophomore Nate Pineda provided the most consistency for the Cougars, but sophomore Anthony Jordan also performed well. Jordan actually topped Pineda’s 30th-place finish at the C-USA Championships, finishing 28th.

The women’s team has slightly higher hopes with the return of C-USA Cross Country Freshman of the Year Stephanie Aldea. The sophomore earned a trip to nationals, placing 215th against great competition.

Head coach Ryan Turner still recognizes the uncertainty surrounding his young squad, but feels more confident coming into this season.

‘You never know what to expect from the first meet, but I think we are more prepared than we were at this time last year,’ he said in a press release.

The Morriss Invitational will be held at UH’s intramural fields. The women’s 3,200-meter race kicks off the action at 6:45 p.m. The men will start their 4,800-meter race at 7:15 p.m.

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