Cross Country prepares for Rhodes Invitational
Oct. 1, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The cross country teams at the University of Memphis will stay local for the second week in a row, Saturday, when they compete at the Rhodes Invitational at Shelby Farms. The meet is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m.
Competitors from 15 squads will descend upon the Midtown area; in addition to the Tigers and host Rhodes, teams from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, LeMoyne-Owen College and Southwestern University will be among the squads represented.
The men's team will in all likelihood be led again by freshman James Maglasang, who is having an outstanding first season as a U of M runner. Maglasang, who was C-USA male Runner of the Week two weeks ago after his first career top-10, at the UALR Invite, finished 32nd in a field of over 260 runners at last week's Memphis Twilight. With a much smaller field to work against this weekend, Maglasang stands with an outside chance to best the entire field and win the competition.
Behind Maglasang are some middle distance upperclassmen who are starting to develop long distance stamina. Sophomores Robert Skinner and Abdi Guleed along with junior Guy Hudson have all made the transition from middle distances and finished in the two-through-four scoring slots behind Maglasang last week.
The women's team has rounded into a competitor fairly quickly, which is certain to please head coach Doug Clark. Freshmen Ellen Kildal and Jenny Johnston are neck-and-neck as team leaders on the course, finishing less than two seconds apart at last week's meet.
Johnston will look for a repeat of her fourth-place finish at the UALR Invite, which was the best performance by a female freshman in four years. Kildal is still searching for her first top-10 finish, but has led the Lady Tigers in two of three races this season.
Freshman Ida Fillingsnes, sophomore Louisa Lingley and junior Jasmine Darden are all regular team-scoring contributors for the Lady Tigers, each finishing in the top-100 of the 256-runner field last week.
After this weekend's race, the cross country teams will get a week of well-deserved rest before hitting the road again, this time heading to Fayetteville, Ark., for the renowned Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at the University of Arkansas' cross country course.