Cross country marches on to season finale at conference championships
The Houston Cougars men’s and women’s cross country teams are headed to Louisiana this Thursday for the 2018 American Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships.
Houston, along with the other AAC teams, wrapped up regular season competition last week as the team had its final runs before the season finale.
Redshirt junior Meredith Sorensen will be relied on heavily by the women’s team. Sorensen has led the way for the women’s team the last three consecutive meets, finishing No. 21 at Rice, No. 10 at Texas A&M and No. 37 at the Bronco Invitational.
The Texas A&M Invitational was a 6000m race, identical to what Sorensen will compete in Thursday, so it is possible she could replicate her top-10 finish.
In addition to Sorensen, senior Britani Gonzales has had some strong finishes as she placed No. 22 at Rice in 15:00.7 and No. 42 in 21:20.6 at the Bronco Invitational.
As a team, the women have recorded third, fourth and sixth place finishes this season, with the Bronco Invitational being the only finish outside the top-10 at No. 14.
The Cougar men’s 8000m race will be held at roughly 10:50 a.m. immediately after the women’s meet concludes.
The men’s team does not have a clear-cut star runner, as there have been four different top runners for the Cougars across four meets this season, something that was expected as the men’s team began its new chapter.
While not yet the consensus top runner, freshman Gabriel Armijo is the only Cougar this season to record two top-10 finishes with a third finish at No. 20 at Texas A&M.
In addition to Armijo, redshirt freshman Nicholas Fernandes and sophomore Devin Fahey seem poised to play big parts for the men’s team, as they each have a top-10 finish on the season.
The men’s team has collected second, third and No. 10 records this season, but like the women’s team, it failed to crack the top-10 at the Bronco Invitational, finishing No. 18.
Tulsa is by far the largest threat to the Houston men’s team, as it has finished No. 1 at the AAC Championships the last four years in a row.
For the women’s team, SMU and UConn are the two most threatening teams, with UConn having won last year’s championship and SMU winning the year prior to that.
The Cougar women’s 6000m race will be first with a 10 a.m. start time at Audubon Park in New Orleans.