The cross country season gets underway this weekend as the men’s and women’s teams join Texas State and Texas Christian University at the Bear Twilight Invitational at Baylor University in Waco.
The run will be a 4k instead of the usual 6k or 8k race, and cross country coach Jarvis Jelen said that gives the teams more opportunity to take an early lead.
“Everyone is still running one race,” Jelen said, “but since the race is shorter, most people will probably be a bit more aggressive in the race than when we run a 6k or an 8k.”
Most eyes this weekend will be on the women’s cross country team, which earlier this week was picked to finish second in the region, ahead of teams like the University of Texas, Baylor and Rice.
Michaela Hackett, a senior who redshirted last year to be able to run with no restrictions on playoffs, said that the expectations for this meet aren’t high, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try for other reasons.
“It’s obviously a different setting than our normal cross country race, but I think that most of what we will be doing is seeing where everyone is and seeing where we are at as a team,” Hackett said. “That being said, we may have some [personal records] because we are running a 4k instead of a 6k.”
Last season both the men’s and women’s teams finished ninth at the Southland Conference championships, but both look to be competitive in the Southland and nationally this season.