Bucks Cross Country has been keeping the trails and roads hot since August 1st preparing for the Regional and National Championships. Both teams have been working hard every day trying to achieve their goals. Both have two practices a day, 5 miles at 5 am and evening workouts or runs, while maintaining full class loads and being involved in various campus activities.
The women of Bucks Cross Country have worked hard this season while only competing individually in most races. Their best result came in the first meet of the season at the Lion's Club with a second place finish. They ran against regional competition twice with mixed results. Redlands won both races at the Lion's Club and at Carl Albert in the CASC Open. The Bucks finished second in their home meet, and Carl Albert took second at their home meet. So, the regional championship is up for grabs. Redlands is the favorite with two very strong runners leading the way, but a team effort by the Bucks could knock off the Lady Cougars and hold off the Lady Vikings from Carl Albert. The women's team consist of the Mendez Twins, Miriam and Marlenne, former Cabot Lady Panther Shannan Gardner, and Mena's own Faith Hill. Coach Shores is proud of her women's team, but knows there's still work to do. "This season has went by extremely fast. We have been working hard. Our women know that their best race of the season is needed to win. They must run as a team to win the regional."
The men's program has had a very successful year to this point. The Bucks have ran strong against several NCAA DII, NAIA, and NJCAA schools. In regional competition races, the men finished with a perfect score in both races at the Lion's Club and CASC Open. To get a perfect score, the Bucks must place individually in 1st through 5th places and get the lowest team score as possible. Former Caddo Hills Indian, Jordan Foster, has lead the pack in every race this season. The Mena trio of Cross Hughes, Robert McIntyre, and Clint Buck along with De Queen's Asael Sanchez and New Mexico's Michael Tenorio all swap places to round out the top 5 in each race. Other runners for the Bucks are Ethan Sanders, Osman Flores, and JP Rojas. Coach Shores knows that her guys have a bullseye on their backs. "We have done extremely well against our regional competition, but we can't get complacent. We know the other schools are coming for us."
NJCAA Region II consist of junior colleges from Arkansas and Oklahoma. Schools that will participate are UA Rich Mountain (Mena, AR), Carl Albert State College (Poteau, OK), Redlands Community College (El Reno, OK), Connors State College (Warner, OK), and National Park College (Hot Springs, AR).
The Region II Cross Country Championship will be held in Mena at the Lion's Club on Saturday, October 12th. The men's race is scheduled for 9 am with the women's to follow.