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Women place 4th in cross country meet

Nov. 5, 1997

Men's 10th place finish give hope for young squad

By Denita Stevens

Sports Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Both Baylor men's and women's cross country teams ran last Saturday in the Big 12 Championships in Stillwater, Okla.

Even with the absence of junior Sherri Smith, the team's top runner, the women placed fourth in the meet.

'I think we would have placed higher if she would have ran with us, but that is just how it went,' junior Michelle Goertz said.

Sophomore Cecelia Jeverstam led the team with an eighth place finish and sophomore Karin Ernstrom followed close behind with a 10th place finish to fill the void that was left without Smith running.

Goertz said the rest of the team pulled together as well to maximize the team's performance at the conference championship, which included No. 5 University of Colorado.

'We knew for a month that she wasn't going to be running with us and so we were all prepared to race without her,' Goertz said. 'We knew we were going to have to step it up a notch.'

'I thought the girls did an exceptional job without Sherri,' Assistant Coach Doyle Shirley said. 'It would have been easy for them to pick up their tents and not do their best, but they went out there and did very well.'

Smith will resume running with her teammates in practice next Monday in preparation for the district meet on Nov. 15, since she received a good report from the doctor on Monday and was released from medical restrictions.

The men's team completed the meet with a 10th place finish, led by the 48th-place finish of senior Berhane Reddy and freshman Josh Ward, who placed 67th.

'We didn't have very many guys on the squad, so we didn't have a lot of depth,' sophomore, Weston Cooper said.

However, they are a young team with potential and they will be a lot stronger next year, Cooper said.

'The men, I thought competed well,' Shirley said. 'We're young and we have a lot of people just getting started, so we do not have a lot of experience. It shows us what to look for in the future.'

'Both teams finished where we thought they would, according to what we had and what the other teams in the conference were doing,' Shirley said. 'The Big 12 is the toughest conference in the nation.'

The next meet for the men and women will be the district meet on Nov. 15th, which includes any Division I schools from Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

'It's going to be a tough competition,' Shirley said. 'They are going to have run as well there as they did in conference.'

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