Aggies face various region teams at Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- Texas A&M will be in action this weekend as they travel to compete in the 12th annual Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic held on the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park this Saturday. It will give the Aggies an opportunity to compete against teams from various regions, primarily from the South and Southeast regions.

The Aggie men and women will each be in the Gold seeded race, which includes 30-plus teams. The men’s 8,000-meter race begins at 9:30 a.m. (EST) with the women’s 5,000-meter race following at 10:15 a.m. (EST).

“This will be another stepping stone for us as we build towards the championship season,” noted Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. “We get the chance to run on a great course, see a couple of our SEC competitors as well as teams from different regions and continue to see how we have progressed over the last three weeks.”

Competing against teams from the South Central region in early September the A&M women won the Rice Invitational in its last performance, topping the host Owls by 35 points, 29-64, while the Aggie men finished second to Rice by 10 points, 77-87.

“I think that both of our teams should be in the battle for team titles and this will be a great test for our teams,” said McRaven. “I’m excited to see us back in uniform.”

Texas A&M’s crew will include 11 runners in each race. The Aggie men competing in Louisville includes Micah Dettmer, Austin Geerts, Xavier Jimenez, Ryan Miller, Alex Riba, Jake Roberts, Isaac Spencer, Colin Stoeber, Ryan Teel, Cameron Villarreal, and Austin Wells. The women’s squad includes Sophie Blake, Grace Fletcher, Lauren Fontana, Johanna Galloway, Meredith Gleitz, Amanda Jenkins, Karis Jochen, Hillary Montgomery, Gabby Salazar, Heather Sterling and Katie Willard.

A pair of Aggies who were seniors a year ago competed on the Sawyer State Park course as Henry Lelei earned All-America honors with a fifth-place finish while James Hodges placed 68th during the NCAA Cross Country Championships held last November.

“After competing on this course at last year’s NCAA championships I was sold on Louisville as a great place to race cross country,” stated McRaven. “It’s a great city and the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park course is an excellent venue. I hope that they continue to bid for major meets and I hope they will be able to attract more top teams from throughout the country.”

SEC teams in the Louisville race include Kentucky and Tennessee while nationally-ranked Eastern Kentucky (No. 17) will field a B team in the men’s race.

Texas A&M women enter the meet ranked No. 3 with the Aggie men ranked No. 4 in the South Central region. In the Southeast region Kentucky men and women are each ranked No. 6 while in the South region Tennessee men are No. 7 with the women No. 11.

Other squads ranked among the South and Southeast regions include Eastern Kentucky women (No. 5 in Southeast), Georgia Tech (South: men No. 5, women No. 12) and host Louisville (Southeast: men No. 9, women No. 7).

The Gold seeded race will also include the following teams: Arkansas State, Carnegie Mellon, Davidson, Detroit Mercy, East Tennessee State, Edinboro, Elon, Ferris State, Florida A&M, Georgia State, Guelph, Indianapolis, Marquette, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee, Morehead State, Murray State, Northern Kentucky, Slippery Rock, South Alabama, Southern Indiana, Southeast Missouri State, St. Francis, St. Louis, Tampa, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Washington University (Mo), Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin-Parkside, Western Kentucky, and Western Ontario.

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