Thursday, September 23, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 23

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Poole leads women's cross country

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff

The UH women's cross country team raced to victory Saturday at the Southwest Texas Meet in San Marcus.

Leading the pack was Cougar senior Stacey Poole with a time of 18:03 for the three-mile course.

Running for the first time in 18 months because of a previous injury, Poole was victorious in her comeback.

Her first win as a Cougar earned her Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors.

The Cougar women swept the field finishing 1-3-4-5-6 in the eight team event, a completely dominating performance.

"We're all excited, especially since we have four seniors on the team right now," Poole said.

A graduate of LaMarque High School, Poole originally went to college at the University of Texas at San Antonio. A desire to be close to her family and friends made her decide to attend UH.

This finance major with a 3.78 GPA has been running a lot longer than most of her peers.

"I've been running now for 15 years, since I was seven," she said. "I still just run, most of all, because I love it."

Her parents participated in Fun Runs when she was a child and Poole got into the races because she didn't have anything else to do.

Cross country races are held at various sites with different types of terrain. Runners don't compete against the clock as much as they do against themselves and their competitors.

Poole likes to bolt out into the lead and set the pace for the other runners.

"Mostly, it's just telling yourself throughout the three-mile race that you have to go as hard as you can," Poole said.

Some runners save energy for the end of the race hoping they will be able to end with a big kick. That's not Poole's style.

"I would love to be able to kick at the end," she said. "For my entire running career, I've been out-kicked in almost every race I've been in."

Poole will graduate in May, but she has one more year of eligibility left.

While she hasn't determined her future, she does want to return and compete for the Cougars next season.

"Running is a drug to me," said Poole. "I keep saying it's something I'm addicted to. During my injury I craved running."

Poole has been a diabetic since she was 10. The disease forces her to check her blood sugar level five times a day. She takes four or five shots of insulin a day to control the disease.

"I'm a Christian and feel like the only way I've been able to run as well as I have is because God's taking care of me," Poole said.

Poole enjoys the camaraderie with her teammates and the opportunity cross country gives her to meet people all over the country.

"People in the athletic department are very supportive of us," she said. "I'm really impressed with the way the Athletic Director (Chet Gladchuk) is trying to get everyone going in the same direction."

The cross country teams head off to San Antonio Friday to compete in the Texas-San Antonio Invitational.

Saturday, Sept. 25, the women's and men's cross country teams host the Cougar Classic 5K Fun Run on the UH campus.

Call (713) 743-9404 for more information about the Fun Run.

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