Aggie Cross Country Opens Season In Waco Friday

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WACO -- Texas A&M begins its 2007 cross country season on Friday, Aug. 31, in Waco as they participate in the Baylor Twilight Invitational. Start time is 6:30 p.m. for the women with the men's race to follow at 7 p.m. on the Baylor Intramural Field.

"I would like to be in two places at the same time," commented A&M head coach Pat Henry, who is coaching the U.S. men's team at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. "When our team is participating in our first competition of the season you like to be there to support the kids."

The Aggie squad competing in Waco will number 29 athletes (15 men, 14 women). Teams scheduled to participate in the Baylor Twilight include Texas (men), TCU, Texas Arlington and North Texas.

The race will cover 4,000 meters (women) and 6,000 meters (men) over a 2k course loop on the intramural fields. The running course is located near the Ferrell Center on the Baylor campus.

"Dan Waters is our distance coach and he does a tremendous job working with our cross country team," Henry noted. "He's the coach who has an every day contact with our distance runners. We are looking forward to starting the season. I know Coach Waters is excited about it."

Henry and Waters are both in their fourth season with the Texas A&M program. Waters will seek to continue a streak of having 12 NCAA individual qualifiers in cross country over the past 12 seasons. While with the Aggies the athletes who have qualified for the NCAA Championships under Waters have included Sarah Balfour (2005), Merideth Snow (2006) and Brian McKinstry (2006).

Last season the Aggie women placed sixth in the Big 12 behind Snow's eighth-place All-Big 12 effort and third in the South Central Regional, where Snow was the runner-up and earned a berth into the NCAA Championship field. Meanwhile the A&M men's team finished seventh in the Big 12 meet and fifth during the South Central Regional last fall.

New additions to the Texas A&M squad include 10 freshmen on the men's team and five on the women's side. Also three transfers join the Aggies in Brooke Upshaw, Dusty Langwell and Kevin McNab. Langwell and McNab will make their debut during the Baylor Twilight.

McNab is an Ohio Valley Conference champion in the steeplechase who was runner-up in the OVC cross country meet last fall while competing for Southeast Missouri State. Langwell, a 2006 grad of A&M Consolidated, competed for Oklahoma last season and was the fifth runner for the Sooners during the Big 12 Championships.