Murray Excited About Youthful, Talented Cross Country Squad

Head coach Jon Murray and the Texas Tech cross country team are set for their lone home meet of 2012.

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by Lauren Mannion
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

LUBBOCK, Texas - With the second meet for the Texas Tech cross country team quickly approaching, eighth-year head coach Jon Murray, is excited to see how his team will perform. The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders swept their first meet of the season in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Now, Texas Tech is set to compete at their only home meet of the season this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Lubbock.

When asked what he expects from his team it was clear Murray has high expectations for this group of runners.

"A lot," he said with a chuckle. "Out of the 20 runners, 15 are newcomers, either freshmen or new to Texas Tech. We're relying on them to step up and do some good things to continue what we've been able to do here at Texas Tech."

One of the things Murray is most excited about seeing is how the newcomers and returners gel with one another.

"The exciting part will be to see how it all comes together," Murray said. "We just don't know what to expect from different people and how they are going to react to the stress of the competition and the stress of practice."

Murray is looking forward to how newcomer Kennedy Kithuka will perform this season. Kithuka is a transfer from Wayland Baptist where he won two national championships in the NAIA division.

"He's one of the top distance runners in the country no matter what division," Murray said. "We're going to keep him going and growing and keep challenging him with competition and practices and continue his success"

During the season opener in New Mexico, Kithuka set a course record on the four-mile run with a time of 19:40.89. Meanwhile, Lady Raider Madeline Livergood placed first the women's three-mile run with a time of 18:45.80. Friday's home meet will feature a 5,000-meter women's race and an 8,000-meter men's race.



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