Friday, October 26, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 47



Cougars on the prowl for titles

Cross country: Women set to make waves in C-USA

By Samica Knight
Daily Cougar Staff

Despite a weekend cold front whisking its way across the eastern coast, the UH men's and women's cross country teams hope to run with the wind and race to a triumphant finish in the seventh annual Men's and Women's Conference USA Cross Country Championships.

The race will be held at Lake Kristi in Greenville, N.C. on Saturday, Oct.27. East Carolina, who is also a competitor in this weekend's race, will host the meet.

The Lady Cougars, ranked No. 8 in the South Central Region, will face very stiff competition in this year's championship race.

The defending women's champions, the Marquette Golden Eagles, return to defend their crown against would-be usurpers South Florida, Tulane, Cincinnati and striding into this
year's picture, the surprising Lady Cougars. 

Head coach Theresa Fuqua's strategy focuses on her athletes' performances steadily improving throughout the season and rising to a crescendo for the conference

The women's team has grown stronger as the season progressed. Their outstanding performances at the Lehigh Invitational Oct. 6 and the Texas A&M Invitational Oct. 13
proved Fuqua's team can fly around a course and compete with the best teams in the nation.

On the starting line for the Lady Cougars is sophomore sensation Jessica Oakes, currently the Lady Cougars No.1 runner, senior Monica Reyna, juniors Julie Perez and Heather
Howse and freshmen Kelly McCarty and Veronica Ramirez.

The women's 6-kilometer race will include all 14 C-USA teams.

The Lady Cougars will definitely use Fuqua's strategy of block- running to place high in this weekends meet.

"It is always good to see a friendly familiar face running next to you," Fuqua said.

This winning strategy will help the Lady Cougars accumulate a low team score.

A cross country team's score is determined by what place the runners finish the race. The order the top five runners on each team finish are added together and the team with the
lowest score wins the championship.

The 8k men's competition will include competitors from 13 C-USA schools.

South Florida, the three-time defending C-USA champion, and Cincinnati are favorites in the men's division.

Even though the UH men field a fairly young team, head coach Howie Ryan expects his runners to do well in this weekends meet.

"Our goal is to place in the top fifty percent," Ryan said. "If we get into the top seven it will be a good accomplishment."

The UH men's team will take seven runners with them this weekend. 

Sophomore Jared Kuntz has been the team's No. 1 runner and is expected to set the pace for the young Cougars.

Running with Kuntz will be senior Kevin Ward, junior Tartou Kargou, sophomores Jason Baines, Juan Cardenas and Ronnie Martinez and freshman Cole Dailey.

"Some of the guys may be tired, they might have hurt themselves running so much during the season," Ryan said.

The men finished in seventh place at the 2000 championships with All C-USA runner Mike Olague leading the way with an outstanding second place finish in the grueling

Ryan redshirted Olague this season in the hope that Olague will return to lead an older, more experienced veteran Cougar team down the glory trail next season.

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