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X-Country qualifies for national meet

Nov. 18, 1997

By Elizabeth Harris

Sports Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

The Women's cross country team ran to a second place finish Saturday at the NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Championship meet. The women improved from last year's third place finish.

Head Coach Steve Gulley said he believes the girls had last year's third place finish in mind all year until this past weekend.

'I really think they thought they could do better and they went up there this weekend to prove just that,' Gulley said.

Four of the girls running for Baylor ran their personal best this weekend, with the exception of junior Sherri Smith. Smith had been out for over a month with a stress fracture in her toe and had practiced on the track only twice after recovery before going up to the NCAA Championship meet.

Karin Ernstom, sophomore, seized fourth place in the meet and was the first Bear across the finish line. Her time was 17:39. Teammate Cecilia Jeverstam, sophomore, was close behind, finishing in seventh place with a time of 17:54. Smith finished 11th for the Bears. Her time was 18:18.

Overall, the Bears amassed 60 points for their second place finish behind Arkansas, who finished with 46 points. The University of Texas came in third with 122 points and the University of Texas at Arlington came in fourth.

Last weekend's NCAA South Central Regional Championship results will give the Bears a bid to the NCAA Championship meet in Greenville, S.C., on Nov. 24. Gulley said he thinks the Bears have an excellent shot at placing high up on the finishing board in this meet, which will be hosted by Furman University.

'It should only be about five degrees colder in Greenville than it is here in Waco, which gives us an advantage,' Gulley said.

Gulley said if the girls were to run any further north it would be a difficult race for them to conquer. Also, Gulley said the course at Furman is one that requires the runners to position themselves tightly at the beginning of the race.

'This also gives us an advantage because our girls are good at positioning themselves early and running a tight course,' Gulley said.

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