Oct. 13, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston cross country teams prepare to compete in the Cal-State Northridge Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif., Saturday Oct. 15. Houston swept this week's Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Week accolades as Megan Munoz and David Smith earned the award.
"The meet this weekend will be a great opportunity for our men and women to compete against teams outside of our region," head coach Ryan Turner said. "We are two weeks away from our conference championships and an exciting time of the season, this is what the college experience is all about."
Cal-State Northridge Invitational
Houston will be among the field of 15 teams that will be represented at the Cal-State Northridge Invitational. The group of teams includes Cal-State Northridge, Cal-State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UNLV (women only), USC (women only) and Troy (men only).
"We'll be racing eight men and eight women this weekend," Turner said. "Both groups have had a great week of practice and that's what expect this time of the year."
The meet is scheduled to start at 8 a.m., with the women's 6K race. The men are slated to run the 8K course at 8:45 a.m.
Conference USA Cross Country Athletes of the Week
Munoz won the women's three-mile race at the Houston Baptist Puma Invitational with a person best time of 17:29. The first place finish marked the first of her career.
Smith led Houston to a second-place finish at the Houston Baptist Puma Invitational. The Houston native finished the four-mile course in 19:50, placing third in the event.
This marks the first time Munoz and Smith have been named C-USA Athlete of the Week in their careers.
Both University of Houston cross country teams placed second at the HBU Puma Invitational Friday. Munoz took first place in the women's three-mile run, earning her first career cross country victory.
Munoz finished the three-mile course in 17:29 seconds, 12 seconds faster than the closest competitor. Julie Reinwald and Starla Garcia also netted Houston top-10 finishes, as Reinwald finished fifth posting a 18:09 mark, while Garcia finished ninth, completing the course in 18:16. Taylor Beer and Eryn Barroso placed 20th and 21st, respectively, rounding out the top-five runners for Houston.
On the men's side, Smith and Andres Santaolalla finished third and fourth, leading the men to a second place finish. Smith finished the four-mile course in 19:50, while Santaolalla posted a time of 20:23. Freshman Anthony Coleman took 13th place, followed by fellow freshman Mark Fernando who placed 17th, giving the Cougars four top-20 finishers.
Houston will set its sights on the C-USA Championships. The conference meet will take place Oct. 31, in Houston.