CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Men's and Women's Cross Country teams will host its only home meet of the season Friday at the 13th annual Islanders Splash. The college race will begin Friday night with the women's 5k at 6:20 p.m. and the men's 8k will follow at 6:45 p.m. at West Guth Park. The Islanders will also be hosting high school and junior high races on Saturday as part of the Splash starting at 8 a.m.
"I think we will get some individual challenges from most of the teams along with team challenges from Rice and Central Arkansas, so it should be exciting," Head Coach Shawn Flanagan said. "We are planning a little more pack running in this race as we know the course and its challenges. The Islanders are probably less recovered for this meet than they were for our first two meets because of the recent increase in tough training we have been doing. All in all I think they will run very well."
Live Results: Results for both the college race and the middle school/high school races can be found at: http://flashresultstexas.com/2012/islandersplash12/ and after the races at www.goislanders.com.
In the Running: The Islanders will compete against a total of nine teams. For the second time this season the Islanders will face UTPA, along with Texas Southern, Texas A&M - Kingsville, Prairie View A&M, Houston Baptist University and Rice University. The Owls are ranked one spot ahead of the women's team in the South Central Regional Rankings at No. 8 and one spot ahead of the men's team at No. 5. Schreiner University and Our Lady of the Lake University will also be joining the field, along with Southland opponent Central Arkansas.
Defending the Crown: The men's team will be looking to defend their title for the third consecutive year. At last season's Islanders Splash the men's team swept the top spot in the 8k, while the women's team finished second behind Rice in the 5k. Cecilia Jones returns to the course after leading the Islanders a year ago with a second-place finish with a 5k time of 18:31. Also returning from last season's Splash is Vanessa Galindo, who placed 12th with a time of 19:29, Jasmine Boutte (19:35, 14th place) and Shelby Polasek (19:59, 18th place). For the men, Paul Hansel is the leading returner for the men's team from the 2011 Splash. Hansel clocked a seventh-place finish with an 8k time of 26:59. Philipp Baar (27:04, 7th place) and Christoph Hintz (28:03, 15th place) also return to the course.
Middle School/High School Race: On Saturday, the high schools and middle schools from around the area will compete. There are about 160 teams slated to compete in 11 different age divisions.
Middle School/High School Schedule:
The meet schedule is as follows:
September 29-High School and Middle School Divisions
8:00 a.m. 4/5A Varsity Boys-3 miles
8:25 a.m. 1-2-3A Varsity Boys-3 miles
8:50 a.m. JV Boys- 3 miles
9:15 a.m. 4&5A Varsity Girls-3 miles
9:45 a.m. 1-2-3A Varsity Girls-2 miles
10:05 a.m. JV Girls-2 miles
10:25 a.m. 9th Grade Girls and Boys 2 miles
10:40 a.m. 7th Grade Girls-1.4 miles
10:55 a.m. 7th Grade Boys-1.4 miles
11:10 a.m. 8th Grade Girls-1.4 miles
11:25 a.m. 8th Grade Girls-1.4 miles
Awards: The top three teams in the varsity and junior varsity divisions and the top 10 individuals in all divisions will receive awards.
T-shirts: There will be Islander Splash t-shirts available at the meet for $10.
Islanders in the Rankings: Both the men's and women's teams maintained their rankings in the latest USTFCCCA South Central region rankings. The men's team sits in sixth place and second in the Southland behind Lamar and the women's team is ranked No. 9 and first in the Southland.
Islanders Head Coach Shawn Flanagan enters his 12th season as the head coach of the Islanders cross country team and 32nd season as a Division I coach. Flanagan started the cross country program in 2000. He has won four Southland women's titles, four Independent women's titles and three Independent men's titles. Altogether, Flanagan holds 30 Conference titles as head coach, including the 19 conference titles he won at UTSA. He also sealed three conference titles as an assistant coach at the University of Texas, totaling 33 Conference Championships to his name.
2011 Success: The women's team clinched their fourth Southland Conference title in five years while the men placed third at the conference meet. Kimeli advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year.
Up Next: The Islanders will wrap the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 13, in Fayetteville, Ark. at the Chile Pepper Invite. Following that the Islanders will look to continue their success at the Southland Conference Championships on Friday, Oct. 26, in Beaumont, Texas, hosted by Lamar.
Keep up with the Islanders: For the latest information, follow Islanders Cross Country on Twitter (@IslandersTFXC) and Facebook (Texas A&M Corpus Christi Track & Field/Cross Country).