UK Cross Country Heads West to Kick-Off 2010 Season
Sept. 3, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky cross country team will begin its 2010 season far from Lexington, traveling to the scenic hills of Golden Gate Park to compete in the 18th Annual San Francisco Invitational Saturday.
The course features all grass and dirt trails with the start and finish taking place in Speedway Meadow. Most of the course is laid out over hills with a 1200-meter loop on flat ground around the polo field to begin the race.
The race field consists of 12 women's teams, eight men's teams and a number of unattached runners competing. Among the schools participating are Academy of the Arts, California, Delta College, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, Sonoma State, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz and the University of the Cumberlands.
Sophomore Luis Orta will highlight the Kentucky men's team after an impressive 2009 campaign that included an All-Southeastern Conference second team selection along with an SEC All-Freshman team honor. The native of Caracas, Venezuela led the Wildcats with a 13th place finish at the 2009 SEC Championship, completing the 8k course in 25:12 to help the men to a seventh place team finish. Orta was unable to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, Ky., due to a hamstring injury. However, even in Orta's absence, the men finished 13th at the event. Other returning contributors include senior Matt Wagner and junior Colin Heenan who competed at every event last season.
In contrast to the men, the women's team is predominately underclassmen featuring six sophomores and four freshmen. Although young, the sophomores enter the year with a tremendous amount of experience and several accolades that include All-SEC honors for Cally Macumber and Chelsea Oswald.
Oswald was Kentucky's top finisher at the SEC Championships coming in 14th place with a time of 21:56 earning her All-SEC second team and All-Freshman honors. Last year, Oswald was also the first Wildcat to cross the finish line at the NCAA Regional in 34th with a time of 21:37. In addition to Oswald, Macumber earned her All-Freshman selection, finishing in 22:16 to take19th place at the SEC Championships.
Don Weber is entering his 27th season as Kentucky's head coach of track and field and cross country. Coach Weber added a former UK student-athlete Thomas Morgan to his staff this season who fills the role of assistant coach for cross country and distance.
The women's race begins at 12:15 a.m. ET with the men's race starting at 1:00 ET.
Follow Kentucky cross country updates and results at UKathletics.com.