Above, Southeastern Oklahoma State freshman Megan Rose runs her first college race in Denton, Texas.
Former Mansfield cross country runner, Megan Rose, pulled on her new blue uniform and ran for the first time as a collegiate athlete. At the Ken Garland Invite hosted by North Texas State in Denton, Texas Rose not only debuted but was a scoring member of her Southeastern Oklahoma State team.
Running on a muddy field at UNT Discovery Park on September 15, Rose posted a very solid time of 21:33.2 over the 5K distance.
“It was my fastest opening season run,” spoke Rose through a text message dialogue with her former high school coach John Mackey. “I was fifth on my team. Just glad I could contribute the first time out.”
Rose was 34th overall in a race that saw SMU win the women’s division with 19 total team points. North Texas, the same school that beat Arkansas in football on that same afternoon, came in second with 58 points.
Incarnate Word, UT Arlington, and Rose’s new school Southeastern Oklahoma rounded out the top five qualifying teams. North Central Texas, Texas Wesleyan, and Paul Quinn were part of the nine team lineup.
“I know I picked the right college when I think of how amazing my team is,” added Rose through her personal account of the opening race. “A lot of the girls did great. Our first and second Southeastern runners ran personal bests.”
According to Mackey, the tone of his former star player’s message was very positive and encouraging.
“I know Megan has really been training hard,” explained her former coach. “They run mostly in the heat of the day for practice. That can really be hard on a person physically and mentally. I’m so happy Megan checked in with us. She sounded really up beat and excited with the results. It looks like that work if paying off.”
Later in the message, Rose was quick to check on her former teammates. Learning that the Tigers had collected several medals through their first two meets seemed to make her proud as well.
Next on the Savage Storm schedule will be the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville. Coincidentally, a handful of the Mansfield freshmen will participate in the junior high division of that same meet.
“It’s billed as the second largest cross country meet in the nation,” revealed Mackey. “Colleges from all over, high schools from several states, and even junior highs will be in attendance. We’ve never taken junior high before this year. Right now we have some freshmen that want to go that posted good enough times to be invited.”
Learning of Mansfield’s plans to attend the same venue gave Rose reason to rejoice.
“Yeah, I race around ten o’clock,” spoke Southeastern’s promising new freshman. “It should be good. I hope your ninth grade do good as well.”