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Future looks bright for cross country runners

Sept. 26, 2003

By Catherine Brown, reporter

After strong finishes for both teams at the North Texas Invitational Cross Country Meet Sept. 13, in Denton, Baylor's men's and women's cross country teams are ready for a heated competition with several nationally-ranked teams this weekend.

The Bears and Lady Bears will travel to Minneapolis to race in the Roy Griak Invitational against several Big 12 teams such as Iowa State University, University of Nebraska and Texas Tech University, as well as other teams ranked in the top 30 in the nation.

'The real test is this weekend,' assistant Coach Jon Capron said. He expects both teams to place well if they perform at their optimum levels.

'The girls [can place] if they race like they can be in the top three,' Capron said. 'The guys are not as deep, but they are definitely quality. And if they are healthy and running, they could be right there also.'

Capron said it would help the morale of the guy's team if they can get several wins against some teams that are ranked higher than the Bears.

Several of the runners are anticipating this meet as a preview of the competition for conference and regional action later in the season.

'It's a relaxed weekend to see how we can do and see a bunch of different teams across the nation,' Angela Marvin, a Kingwood sophomore, said.

Marvin also said she thinks the team can place in the top three or win the meet.

Bo Price, an Atlanta, Texas, sophomore, said the teams set a goal to get as many people under 25 minutes on this course as possible.

'It's going to be very competitive with a lot of good teams there,' Price said. 'If we can get five people to break 25, we should do pretty well. We're hoping to beat a lot of good teams.'

At the last meet, the Lady Bears garnered a first place finish with 32 points and four runners finishing in the top 10. With the first place finish, the women obtained a 27th ranking in the FinishLynx/NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country National Poll.

Houston freshman Brittany Brockman was the top Baylor finisher in second place for the women.

'I haven't run a 5K in cross country in a long time, so I was really excited, and it was a lot of fun getting to run with the team,' she said.

Lisa Cornelius, a Little Elm sophomore, finished in third place. Marvin placed sixth, and Monique Ortega, an El Paso freshman, placed ninth.

Capron said they ran well together, and he saw some good performances.

'Brittany Brockman came on strong. To have that kind of performance out of one of our freshmen is great,' he said.

He also said the seniors are doing a fantastic job of leading the team.

The Bears finished in second place behind the University of Oklahoma with 35 points and three runners finishing in the top 10.

'We were a little disappointed that we didn't win overall because Oklahoma had a few transfers from last year, and they really improved,' Price said. 'I was impressed, and it was a good way to start off the season.'

Price was the Bears' top finisher in second place for the men. Rounding out the rest of the top 10 for the Bears were Matt Chance, a Grapevine senior, finishing in fourth place and Rob Morrow, a Grapevine sophomore, placing fifth.

Although the Bears finished in second place, they were disappointed because they didn't have Sulphur Springs senior Kyle King running in the meet. King was injured before the meet and still is recovering.

'We missed Kyle not being there, but he's coming on strong and is probably in better shape than when he was injured, just from his hard work in the pool,' Capron said. 'He just has to get on his leg a little more.'

King is traveling with the team this weekend and should be able to compete.