WKU favored to win Sun Belt cross country championships

Mercedes Trent

WKU’s cross country teams are the

league favorites going into the Sun Belt Conference Championships

at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kereiakes Park. 

Head Coach emeritus Curtiss Long

said the teams aren’t doing anything differently to prepare for the


“We want to enter the meet healthy

and we want to run well,” Long said. “If we have those two factors,

the race will take care of itself.”

The Lady Toppers are credited with

the longest conference winning streak in the nation with 17

consecutive cross country and track titles. The men’s team is

looking to capture its first cross country title since


Slated alongside WKU in the top

three are defending men’s champion Arkansas-Little Rock and Middle

Tennessee State.

“This is a great opportunity to see

some outstanding runners,” Long said. “The Sun Belt is blessed.

Everybody has somebody who is good. There should be some great

racing on Saturday and some hard-fought battles.”

Each of the 11 teams can run eight

competitors, but teams only need to run five to score.

“We want to go out there and meet

our opponent,” freshman Peter Okwera said. “They could be strong

and they could be good but we are going to run well.”

Last year, the Trojans from Little

Rock placed three runners in the top ten. This year, WKU hopes to

put up similar statistics.

“We need a strong push by our top

three and a very strong competitive effort out of the rest of our

scoring positions,” Long said. “There will be five or six people in

the lead pack and hopefully three will be ours.”

The runners said they’re


“We want to win and we will,” junior

Landon Taylor said. “Everybody has their mind right and their body

right and it’s going to be a good day.”

Long believes that

if the runners concentrate on a great race, they will be


“Our people are looking to have quality races,” Long

said. “If someone comes out and beats us, we want to make sure

they’ve earned it.”