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Volume 71, Issue 61, Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sports

Cougar can run with the best

Figueroa finishes 188th out of 253 during his first, 
last NCAA Cross Country Championship

By Chris Elliott
The Daily Cougar

Baytown native and UH athlete, senior Sesar Figueroa concluded his collegiate cross country career running a course in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, finishing 188th out of 253 competitors in the NCAA Championships.

"Man it was cold," Figueroa said after running in weather that ranged from the mid 30s to low 40s.


Senior Sesar Figueroa finished his UH career as a cross country runner after his 188th finish, among 253 competitors, during the NCAA Cross Country Championship on Monday.
Courtesy of UH Sports Information

Though he did not place, as he had been accustomed to doing all season, Figueroa ran among the proven best long distance runners in the country and was able to put forth a performance which would give him a mediocre finish. 

"I was just glad to be there," Figueroa said. "Everyone doesn't have the chance to say they made it to the NCAA finals."

His time of 31:47 was roughly 2 minutes behind first place finisher Simon Bairu of Wisconsin. 

"I was doing fine at the beginning, but then my ankle started to hurt," Figueroa said. "But I sucked it up and started catching people the last two kilometers."

Though making it to the NCAA finals has been the highlight of his collegiate career so far, Figueroa hopes to surpass the success he has had running 8-12 kilometer courses when track season rolls around. 

He feels that all the training he has put forth to get himself to the NCAA Cross Country Finals will give him a slight advantage on the track, where he participates in the mile race. 

Figueroa's accomplishments this year began at the Hawaii Big Wave Classic, where he recorded a first place finish. On Sept. 30, he was the second person to cross the finish line at the Islander Splash in Corpus Christi. Figueroa followed those performances with a career-best performance at the Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival, while being named to the Second Team All-Conference USA Honors and an 11th-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships. 
 

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