Josh Zigrang

Team members fail to advance toward national competition

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The men’s and women’s cross-country teams sent two runners to the South Central Regionals in Waco Friday and both ended their seasons without advancing to the NCAA Nationals.

Sophomore Joseph Pena and senior Michelle Jones were the runners selected to represent Texas State at regionals after their performances during the season. Pena, coming off of a year-long hiatus from competition, ended his year with two top 10 performances and an 80th place finish at the Waco meet. Pena ran his first 10K at a 5:18 per mile pace.

Coach Bryan Jackson made the decision to send just two athletes to the regional meet after the conference championships.

“(Going into the season) I saw myself competing well at regionals,” Pena said. “I felt I did OK.”

Get to Know: Joseph Pena

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JZ: What are your top three favorite dishes?
JP: Chicken pasta, sirloin and seafood fondue.

What is your ultimate goal while at Texas State?
To put my name on the map, to strike fear in people and to set records.

Who is your favorite collegiate team?
Texas State, but I grew up loving the Aggies.

Do you have any superstitions before a race?
I have to eat two hours before my run. I have to take a cold shower and I have to tie my shoes several times—20 times at least. I have to wear the same pair of socks each week. Obviously, washed. I have to be in bed by 10PM.

Who is your model wife?
Emma Watson. She is gorgeous.

Cross country falls short in Sun Belt Championships

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The women’s cross country teams traveled to Troy, Ala. to compete in their first Sun Belt Conference Championships last weekend.

In Coach Brian Jackson’s first time during his three-year career with the Bobcats, his women’s team placed sixth out of 10 teams in the 5K run. The men placed eighth out of nine teams in their 8K run.

Coming in for the Bobcats’ best time was senior Michelle Jones who was able to win All-Conference Honors with her 12th place finish after a time of 18:42.3. Jones’ career-best time is 18:14.5 when she competed in the 2012 Concordia University Invitational.

“Michelle (Jones) ended her senior season right,” Jackson said. “I am just really happy for Michelle for ending her senior year on the All-Conference team.”

Tennis travels to Houston for final fall tournament

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The Texas State tennis team won 11 out of 14 matches at its recent Play Date tournament at home, and looks to carry that momentum into Friday’s University of Houston Cougar Classic.

The classic will be the final tournament of 2013 for the Bobcats. The team will resume play Jan. 18 against Texas Tech.

After some experimenting, Texas State earned two victories out of the three doubles matches played last weekend in San Marcos. The tandems impressed Coach Tory Plunkett.

“We switched up the doubles teams,” Plunkett said. “I wasn’t expecting (senior Jessica Kahts and junior Shannon Beckett) to do that well.”

The only doubles loss came from the duo of freshman Pippa Carr and junior Monica Pieratt.

Cross Country prepares for Sun Belt Conference Championships

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The Texas State men’s and women’s cross-country teams will travel east to Troy, Alabama Saturday attempting to win their first ever conference title in the Sun Belt Championships.

Led by just as many underclassmen as upper, Coach Bryan Jackson has been gearing the teams up during their three-week hiatus for a potential top-three finish.

“(I have been telling the teams) they can accomplish anything they put their minds to,” Jackson said. “It is all right there between the ears.”

The training regimen has remained the same all season long for the Bobcats heading into a stage like the conference championships. Junior Joseph Rodriguez said he has not seen anything different than what the team prepared for since the beginning.

Women’s golf travels to San Antonio for Alamo Invitational

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Women’s golf coach Mike Akers and his team will compete at the Alamo Invitational in San Antonio Oct. 27, hoping to improve their performance after a last-place finish at the Schooner Fall Classic in Norman, Okla.

Missing out on the talents of senior Mara Puisite due to a wrist injury, the Bobcats will bring along junior Lejan Lewthwaite, junior Iman Nordin, sophomore Lora Assad, freshman Ali Cowan and freshman Maty Monzingo.

Akers has seen confidence in Lewthwaite following a two-week break from tournament play. The junior, after struggling with her game last year, shot a career low of 64 in practice this week although she has been a top finisher on the team this entire season.

“It was her lowest round of her life,” Akers said. “Yesterday she was on fire.”

Bobcat runners show improvement in Rice Invitational

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The Texas State men’s and women’s cross-country teams showed improvements from last year’s performance, despite having members on the bench at the Rice Invitational Friday.

“We are definitely better,” Coach Bryan Jackson said. “It’s just how much better (are we going to be) at the end of the year.”

Senior distance runner Michelle Jones finished with a time of 15:59 in her 4-kilometer run Friday, just over a minute slower than her personal best of 14:48 finishing 27th out of 132 runners. Jones, in her final year of cross-country with the Bobcats, has tried to instill confidence amongst her team.

“(The other runners) are better than they think they are,” Jones said. “If they have a bad workout or a bad race, it is not the end of the world.”

Bobcats look to improve standings, performance at Rice Invitational

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Cross-country coach Bryan Jackson will take his men’s and women’s teams to the Rice Invitational Sept. 13.

The two teams finished in seventh place last month in the Bear Twilight at Baylor. The Bobcats showed there is improvement needed to achieve their sought-after goal of ranking in the top three in the conference or winning a championship.

“I’m a competitive guy,” Jackson said. “I always expect to win. We always try to figure out how we are going to win a championship but definitely (want to) finish (in the) top three. The way we’re (going to) contend for a championship is getting the gaps between (the runners) to 30 and 45 seconds.”

Hockey club prepares for upcoming season

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The Texas State hockey club looks to turn this season into one that will give the club recognition in the area and nation, despite going 7-15 last year.

Coach Bob Smith looks to continue building the hockey program in his second year with the Bobcats. He will do so with limited funds for skating time, no skating rinks in the San Marcos area and 18 players.

“We have nothing to offer but pure love of the game,” Smith said. “Anyone who wants to be a first class player, come aboard. We’re ready for you.”

Inside the Lines: Mara Puisite

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Golf is a fair weather sport one would find difficult to practice in a colder environment such as the capital city of Riga, but Latvia native and senior golfer Mara Puisite has managed to find her place in the sport.

Mara Puisite  is a member of the Texas State women’s golf team who has gone through all lengths to play. With the help of her parents, Mara Puisite and her sister Krista, a former golfer at Texas State, had to travel far to chase after their dreams of becoming great golfers.

“My dad was pushy (for us) to play golf,” Mara Puisite said. “He wanted us to have options and choices.”

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