Cross Country debut makes UNT Dallas athletics history

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UNT Dallas cross country team

Years from now, fans and followers of the University of North Texas at Dallas would do well to remember the name Yessica Araiza. She will be the answer to a trivia question.

Last Saturday morning at the Crusader Invitational Cross Country meet held at Haltom City’s Fossil Creek Park, Araiza and her Trailblazer teammates made school history as the first UNT Dallas team to compete in an intercollegiate athletic competition. Adding to the historic moment was the fact Araiza, a freshman from Bryan Adams High School, handily won the three-mile women’s division with teammate Zyjae Ridley, a freshman from Lincoln High, taking second place. Another UNT Dallas freshman, Osbaldo Garcia, also from Bryan Adams, won the men’s division, and freshman teammate Logan Sisk from Boswell Saginaw High, finished fourth.

The race covered a 5-mile course. 

“I was very pleased with our conditioning and readiness to compete,” UNT Dallas coach Kenneth Royal said.

On hand to watch history-in-the-making was UNT Dallas Athletic Director Jack Allday, who reminded the team members of the place they earned in the university’s history.

“This is something you will proudly carry with you for the rest of your lives,” Allday said.

The Trailblazers' next competition will be this Saturday, Sept. 25, a North Texas College League meet at The Trails in Fort Worth (600 Congress St.). UNT Dallas is a new member of the Sooner Athletic Conference. In addition to cross country, UNT Dallas will field men’s and women’s basketball teams this fall, and men’s and women’s track during the spring.

Here is the upcoming cross country schedule:

  • Sept. 25: North Texas College League, Trinity Trails, Fort Worth
  • Oct. 9: William Graham Invitational, Ranger College
  • Oct. 16: North Texas College League, The Buff, Haltom City
  • Oct. 24: Texas Small College Invitational, The Buff, Haltom City