After heading to College Station at the start of September for the Aggie Opener, the Longhorns will host an event of their own this week in the Texas Invitational. The meet will begin on Thursday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Texas, and will see Texas take on Big 12 rivals Texas Tech and TCU, among others.
The Invitational takes place after a successful showing by the Longhorns two weeks ago to kick off the season. At the Aggie Opener, Texas held off on sending out some of its veterans in order to give the less experienced athletes a chance to compete, and head coach Brad Herbster was proud of the showing from his athletes.
“The A&M meet was a great opportunity for some of our younger guys, men and women, to kind of show how their summer training went,” Herbster said. “With Destiny (Collins) winning the race, that was big. With Garek (Bielaczyc) running in his first cross race and race period in a long time, that was a good showing for him and the entire group to just kind of step up and get their feet wet with it.”
The Longhorns will bring the entire team to the event this time, however.
The course at Round Rock will also be used as the venue for the Big 12 Championship later this season. Herbster said he’s looking forward to having the team familiarize itself with the track surface.
“Having that ability to preview the home course, but also the Big 12 course, is a huge advantage,” Herbster said. “It should be a good opportunity for these seasoned vets, but also for the newcomers who haven’t seen the course or been in a college race. You can practice on a course all you want, but once you race on it, it’s totally different. This is a great opportunity to get out there and race.”
The Texas women’s team will run the 4,000 meters at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, followed by the men’s 6,000 meters at 7:00 p.m. Admission to the Invitational is free and open to the public.