Nov. 15, 2013
WACO, Texas - Tulane's cross country team closed out their season on Friday morning at the NCAA South Central Regional, with the women's squad coming in 19th place, while the men finished 20th in their respective fields.
The squad competed at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, and then event was hosted by Baylor. Tulane sent five women and six men to the meet, with the women taking part in a 6K, followed by the men's 10K race.
"We fell short of achieving what I would consider a fundamental aspect of team running, which is getting our five scoring runners to run as a pack," stated the director of Tulane cross country and track and field, Eric Peterson. "It is so important on a fundamental level for that concept to be ingrained on a team. With a group of athletes who don't have a lot of experience racing at the collegiate level, that can be a difficult thing to teach in such a short season. We didn't accomplish that this year, and as a result, we did not run as well as we can."
The men's side was led by junior Geoff Zelek, who crossed the finish line in a time of 33:31.8. Zelek shaved almost three minutes off his personal best in a 10K with his time of 33:31.8. During his freshman campaign, Zelek ran at the NCAA South Central Regional, posting a then-personal best 36:14.40.
Zelek was followed by sophomore Adam Yohanan, who had led the Green Wave in all of the team's previous meets this season. Yohanan finished 25 spots behind Zelek with a time of 34:20.0. Sophomore Jack White (34:43.1), freshman Jack Curtis (35:13.1) and sophomore Nicholas Meloro (35:15.0) all scored points for the men's team.
On the women's side, sophomore Mikayla Sonneborn paced the team, finishing in 23:13.7. Sonneborn was only 11 seconds slower than her previous personal best, set at the Azalea City Classic earlier this season.
Sophomore Katharine Smiley, who was the pacesetter for the Green Wave during the Conference USA Championships two weeks ago, followed Sonneborn across the finish line in a time of 23:20.3.
Freshman Sara Kebede was the third Green Wave runner to finish, coming in at 23:59.8, followed by senior Callie Turlington (24:13.8) and junior Paige Callahan (24:53.4). Callahan, who had led the Green Wave in all of the meets she competed in until the C-USA Championships, has been battling some injuries and illnesses that threw her off her normal routine on Friday.
"We knew that going into the Crimson Classic that Paige was battling some injuries and illnesses that would make these meets really challenging for her," added Peterson. "Unfortunately, we just didn't have enough time for her to get as healthy as she could. Today, she was put in a position where she tried to be the best for the team."
Tulane's cross country season came to an end on Friday, but many of the athletes will compete during the track and field season, and the indoor campaign is just right around the corner.
For those who will not see extensive time during the track and field season, they will have an entire year to prepare themselves for what is in store for the 2014 campaign.
"Everybody in the program is well aware of things we need to improve on, and we are going to be committed to fixing those things moving forward," added Peterson.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field and cross country programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Women's Team Results, Points Scored
1. Arkansas, 33
2. SMU, 116
3. Texas A&M, 116
4. Texas, 132
5. UTSA, 154
6. Baylor, 162
7. Lamar, 190
8. Arkansas State, 225
9. North Texas, 242
10. Central Arkansas, 244
11. Rice, 256
12. Texas-Arlington, 296
13. Stephen F. Austin, 336
14. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 386
15. Houston Baptist, 431
16. Houston, 456
17. LSU, 473
18. UL-Lafayette, 492
19. Tulane, 509
20. New Orleans, 626
Tulane Women's Results (out of 140)
92. Mikayla Sonneborn, 23:13.7 (adj. 85)
95. Katharine Smiley, 23:20.3 (adj. 88)
114. Sara Kebede, 23:59.8 (adj. 106)
118. Callie Turlington, 24:13.8 (adj. 110)
129. Paige Callahan, 24:53.4 (adj. 120)
Men's Team Results, Points Scored
1. Arkansas, 34
2. Texas, 37
3. Lamar, 110
4. Stephen F. Austin, 154
5. Rice, 167
6. North Texas, 185
7. Texas A&M, 217
8. Texas-Arlington, 221
9. Baylor, 239
10. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 249
11. Houston, 271
12. Central Arkansas, 271
13. Arkansas Little-Rock, 317
14. Sam Houston State, 413
15. Houston Baptist, 417
16. UL-Monroe, 429
17. LSU, 449
18. UTSA, 454
19. Arkansas State, 483
20. Tulane, 607
21. Southeastern Louisiana, 633
Tulane Men's Results (out of 149)
100. Geoff Zelek, 33:31.8 (adj. 97) *
125. Adam Yohanan, 34:20.0 (adj. 121) *
128. Jack White, 34:43.1 (adj. 124) *
136. Jack Curtis, 35:13.1 (adj. 132) *
137. Nicholas Meloro, 35:15.0 (adj. 133) *
143. Kade Kistner, 35:55.1 (adj. 138) *