Texas takes first, second place in final home meet

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Running on only a week’s rest since their last competition, the Texas cross country teams competed in their second and final home meet of the season Friday night.

The women’s team rebounded from what head coach Brad Herbster called a “really disappointing” outing in the Texas A&M Invitational last weekend with a dominant team win this weekend.

Junior Sandie Raines, who finished tenth and was the Longhorns’ top finisher in College Station, once again led Texas to the finish, this week placing first overall.

Raines completed the 5,000-meter race in a time of 18:18.00 and was followed by freshman Alex Cruz, who finished in a time of 18:21.70.

“This was a big improvement from last week,” Raines said. “We all worked together as a group and really opened it up in the last 1,000 meters.”

Both finishing the race in a strong manner and working together in a group surfaced as Herbster’s main concerns following the women’s efforts in College Station.

The same issues that plagued the women’s team a week ago in College Station — finishing strong and working together as a group — affected the men this week.

The men’s team followed up the women’s victory with a one point loss to North Texas, a team that the Longhorns defeated by 35 points just a week ago.

Texas only had 3 runners in the top-10 this week, compared to the 5 runners that finished in the top-11 last week. Of the three Texas men that finished the race in the top-10, none crossed the line in a group.

“We have to do a better job of competing in the middle half of the race and closing out better than we did today,” Herbster said about the men’s performance. “If we continue to work as a group, we’ll get where we need to be.”

Although the men’s team finished second overall, sophomore Jacob Pickle won the men’s race with a time of 25:21.50 over 8,000 meters.

While Pickle was pleased with his own efforts, he said that it always hurts to lose, especially at home.

Pickle said he believes the Longhorns are a few small tweaks from major success heading into the Pre-National Invitational in two weeks.

“We’re always representing the University of Texas, so we have to do that at a high level,” Pickle said. “We’ll be back much stronger at our next race.”

Texas’ next race is  Oct. 17 at the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky.