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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cross country starts the races in Aggieland

PROVIDED

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It’s September in Aggieland, and a lot of buzz is going on about football. However, the Aggie men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to begin their 2015 campaign on Friday night at the Dale Watts Cross Country course in College Station.

The season begins with the Aggie opener, where A&M will take on Lamar and Texas-San Antonio (UTSA). The Aggie men are ranked No. 7 in the NCAA South Central Region preseason poll, while the women come in at No. 5 in the region.

Lamar’s men come in ranked No. 4 and the women are ranked No. 8. For UTSA, the men are not ranked, and the women sit at No. 14.

For A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven, the upcoming competition is a good thing for all the teams involved because it breaks the training cycle.

“We’ve been training for two weeks together, so it’s nice to have a competition to break up training a bit,” said McRaven on 12thman.com. “Lamar has a good team with international athletes and their men finished third in the region last season. UTSA continues to get better. Both teams are in our region, so we’ll get a chance to see where we’re at in an early season meet.”

The women get the event started at 6:45 p.m. with an over 4,000 meter race. A&M will send out 12 runners for the women’s race, all led by junior Karis Jochen.

On the men’s side, they will start after the women with an over 6,000 meter race beginning at 7:15 p.m. There will be 16 runners for the men, led by juniors Cameron Villareal and Austin Wells.

The most important thing to begin the season is, of course, winning, but setting the tone for the year is also key. The season began with practices months ago, but now is the time where the Aggies find out what kind of team they will be in 2015.
“While this is a low key race to open the season it’s still important for us to start setting a tone on what kind of team we’re going to be in late October and November,” McRaven said. “We’ve worked hard on some things in training and have talked about things in training as they relate to racing in leading up to this meet. The biggest challenge for this group is being able to execute in racing what we talk about and do in training.”

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