Sept. 13, 2012
BEAUMONT – After the Lamar cross country program put in a strong showing at the Cardinal Relays two weeks ago, it will now turn to a more traditional meet on Friday as both the men’s and women’s teams will participate in the John F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitational in Houston.
“Anytime that we line up and run a meet, it’s exciting,” head coach Trey Clark said. “I’d rather have an actual meet than a relay, and for me, this is really the start of the season. It’s an opportunity for our team to put on the uniform and see a score at the end of the day, and I’m looking forward to it.”
However, Clark went on to caution that despite the meet’s importance as the start of the season, it’s still a vehicle to prepare for the end, which will see the men’s team going for a seventh consecutive Southland Championship.
“We’re not going to run everyone,” Clark said. “We’ve now incorporated this meet into our training program. It’s nearby, so we don’t have to interrupt our training to travel, and because of its length, it helps get our feet wet without putting a lot of stress on the body. We’re doing a lot more training than racing right now, so this allows us to minimize the wear-and-tear at a very important part of our training time.”
The women will be participating in a 4,000 meter run, and the men will run 6,000.
The field features 14 other universities, including conference opponents McNeese State, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. With a No. 4 ranking in last week’s regional poll, the men’s team is entering as the second-best team in the meet, trailing second-ranked Texas A&M. The women are considered the fifth-best in the field by the USTFCCCA with a No. 12 regional ranking.
“It’s going to be one of the biggest meets they’ve ever had, and I like the atmosphere associated with it,” Clark said. “It’s on campus, accessible and it’s a nice place to run.”
The meet will take place at the Intramural Fields on the campus of Rice University, and the women will start things off at 6:15 p.m. with the men following up at 6:45.