Cross country sprints to finish

Josh Dean

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The ULM women’s and men’s cross country teams gave everything they had as they competed Sunday in the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

The event was hosted by South Alabama and was held at Battleship Memorial Park.

The men’s team ended up finishing in eight place and the women’s 11th with several Warhawks blowing their previous best times out of the water.

The men’s team was led by senior Hillary Kirwa who finished with a time of 26:05.5, which garnered him 27th place and was a full minute better than his time the previous year at the tournament.

Hillary was pleased with his effort at the championships and said, “Last year I was disappointed in how I ran. This year I was able to make a large improvement.”

The team faced diversity as one of their top runners, Dusan Makevic, who earned All-Conference Honors last year, was unable to run due to a foot injury.

Hillary felt that this loss was significant but that the team stepped up and said, “Our top guy wasn’t there to support us in our effort but we all did decent and everyone ran really well. Everyone gave an effort.”

Head Coach Malloy felt that everyone competed well and said, “We’re never excited about finishing down in the pack, but both the men’s and women’s team competed well with the men’s team facing the adversity of losing their top runner.”

Several other Warhawks on the men’s side ended up finishing in the top 50 including James Turner, who as a freshmen captured a top-35 spot and was ULM’s second place finisher, Brent Turner, and Vinnie Van Puyvelde.

Sophmore Brent Turner felt pleased but unsatisfied with his performance and said, “I felt I did pretty good but I could’ve ran a little bit better to further help the team out. Overall I felt the team did well considering the circumstances.”

On the women’s side Junior Rebecca Dark led the way with a time of 20.18.2 and a 63rd place finish. She was followed by Freshman Kristin Cave and Josie Wood who finished 64th and 66th respectively.

Senior Anakeran Lopez finished 68th in her last SBC meet.

Coach Malloy has not decided yet whether the cross country teams will compete in the South Region Championships which are scheduled to be held November 14th, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The NCAA championships would follow a week later in Terre Haute, Indianapolis.