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Big Finish

Senior Track Standout

Redshirt returns an orange and blueprint for success

Michael Guerrero

Michael Guerrero

In 2016, standouts Michael Guerrero and Craig Lautenslager became the first UTA distance runners in nearly two decades to advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championships after top‑10 finishes at the NCAA South Central Regional.

Lautenslager was a fifth-year senior for the Mavericks that year, fresh off an elected redshirt season during which he did not compete in 2015. Instead, he focused on training in preparation for a huge senior season that resulted in not only his NCAA cross country berth, but also Second-Team All-America accolades in outdoor track.

Fast forward to 2018, and now Guerrero is that fifth-year senior with hefty goals on his mind after choosing to sit out the 2017‑18 cross country and outdoor track seasons. The native of Mission, Texas, loudly announced his return to competitive action in cross country with an individual victory at the Gerald Richey UTA Invitational in September and continued to perform at a high level all fall for the regionally ranked Mavericks.

Guerrero, already one of UTA’s most decorated track student-athletes ever thanks to three individual conference championship titles, is listed in the school’s top three all-time in three different events. However, if his final season falls in step with that of his former teammate, Guerrero could see his name vault to the top of those lists and earn him distinction as the greatest men’s distance runner in school history.

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