Cross Teams Compete at Watson Ford Invite
Oct. 10, 2008
Memphis, Tenn. The Memphis men's and women's cross country teams take to the course again as they head to Clinton, Miss. to run in the Watson Ford Invitational hosted by Mississippi College on Saturday morning Oct. 11. The women's college division begins the morning meet at 8:30 a.m. with a 6k run. The men's division follows up immediately after with an 8k race at 9:15 a.m.
"We expect the men to go to this meet and win, no questions asked," said Memphis distance coach Toby Reep. "For the women, we expect the same things. We expect to be successful and we expect to be a lot better than we've been overall. We have and we will continue to progress all the way up through conference. This should be our best meet by far."
At Memphis' last meet at the University of Little Rock, three male athletes ran their personal best times. Joe Coneo Jr. registered a PR of 27:13.93 and Sam James ran a PR of 27:57.29. Newcomer Edwin Kipkorir was the first Tiger to cross the finish line clocking in at a PR time of 25:54.55 while notching a top-10 finish placing in sixth.
For his performance at UALR, Kipkorir garnered Conference USA Athlete of the Week honors for the week of Sept 30. He also earned honors as Memphis Tigers' Athlete of the Week for his individual feat and contributions to the Memphis cross country team.
Reep was impressed with the last performance that his athletes turned in and is very excited to run in the meet this weekend. He has also been very impressed with his team's performance in practice as of late and hopes that can carry over in to race day.
"This past week we had the best week of workouts that we've had. Friday, both the men and women turned in a work out that was absolutely phenomenal. They stepped up and destroyed it. Distance running is an emotional and a mental game. When you get to race day and things get tough, just having those little successes you had in practice are the kind of things that you tend to lean on as an athlete."
As the Conference USA Championships approach, Reep is preparing his team to become strategically sound as well. He says that his athletes are gaining confidence and looking to apply what they have learned in competition.
"It has been a learning experience for this year for both men and women," said Reep. "We're getting race strategy down, but week by week we are continuing to get better. We're doing race development type of work outs and race modeling work outs where we're putting them in a position that they would be in exactly in a racing environment. They are destroying those in work outs and they know that they can show up on race day and do the same things."
The next meet the Memphis cross country teams participate in is the Redhawk Invitational in Cape Girardeau, Mo. hosted by Southeast Missouri on Friday, Oct. 17.