Cross Country Teams Begin Season at Arkansas Tech
Aug. 29, 2008
Memphis, Tenn. - The men's and women's cross country teams begin their 2008 campaign tonight as they travel to Russellville, Ark. The Arkansas Tech meet will be run this evening. The meet will feature nine schools and will begin with a women's 2-mile run at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude with a men's 4-mile run beginning at 7 p.m.
Among the school's competing in both the women's and men's races are Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Henderson State, Hendrix College, Lyon College, University of Memphis, University of Ozarks, while Tech and Arkansas-Monticello will run just women's teams.
With hire of distance coach Toby Reep the Memphis distance and cross country program begins a new era with a new outlook of success.
"Our objective is to be better than what we have been in the recent past. I think being top five for both women and men is a very reachable goal," Reep said. "The possibilities are limitless for us as far as the season goes. It is entirely up to our athletes as to how good they want to be."
The men's cross country team returns all of its runners from last season and adds two more runners who should make big contributions for the Tigers. Edwin Kipkorir a sophomore transfer from division II Adams State and Aaron Evans an incoming freshman from Bermuda look to be a solid addition for the group. Track and field head coach Kevin Robinson expects him to step on campus at Memphis and immediately enter an important role for the team.
Robinson is eager to see just how much progress his team has made from the 2007 campaign.
"We look for our guys to have made leaps and bounds of improvement from last season, said Robinson. "We are going to have a really good shot at being competitive at the regional level. As far as pinpointing the level of competitiveness we haven't been able to evaluate that, but we're really looking forward to seeing what our guys are capable of."
The women's side includes a host of newcomers. Six new athletes will run for the Lady Tiger's cross country squad this year including three freshmen, two juniors, and a senior. The sole returner is Emily Malinowski, a senior from Slingerlands, N.Y. The coaching staff believes her to be the leader for the women's squad this season. Reep knows she has the ability to have a big impact in her senior campaign.
"Emily is the lone returning athlete who has had some pretty phenomenal performances in the past," Reep said. "This will be her last great opportunity to do something very special this year. We believe she has a pretty good chance to qualify for nationals. I do not think that is out of the realm of possibilities for her."
As the student-athletes dive into the new school year this week, they also head immediately to a cross country meet this weekend. The opening Arkansas Tech meet is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 29 at Russellville, Arkansas.
"The first meet is obviously a measuring stick for us," Reep said.
Overall the coaches are thrilled about the direction the cross country program is heading.
"This should be the best cross country team we have put out in a long while, Robinson stated. "I believe in the kids we have and I know they are going to work hard to succeed and I believe that this is a perfect time for these athletes to be a part of this program."