The Texas men impressed over the weekend at the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Louisville, finishing No. 7 in a field that included four Top 10 teams, and eight ranked squads throughout the country. The Longhorns jumped nine spots from their 2016 finish, where they left Louisville at No. 16 overall.
“Our men were able to beat some teams that could end up finishing in the top 10 at NCAAs later this season, but we fell short of others,” said Brad Herbster, assistant coach for distance and cross country. “Sam Worley and Alex Rogers did a nice job of working together, and John Rice ran a complete race for us.”
Worley finished No. 31 with a time of 23:44.76 in his first 8,000 meters race. Rogers crossed the line in 23:48.7, finishing four seconds behind Worley for a finish of No. 39. Rice finished at No. 57 with a time of 24:07.9.
The women’s team finished No. 26 overall. Sophomore Destiny Collins was the top finisher for the Longhorns, crossing the line in 75th place with a time of 20:58.5 in the 6,000 meters. Herbster said that Collins ran a good race, but the women’s team as a whole has room for improvement.
“Destiny put herself up front and competed hard,” Herbster said. “We have two weeks to correct things and get ready for Big 12. We have the personnel on the women’s side but need to race the way we practice.”
Herbster said the team had a few injuries and illnesses that kept it from performing at its best. However, he believes that Texas can still put forth a strong effort at the Big 12 Championships later this month.
“We are needing to improve a few things to get ready for the Big 12 Championship,” Herbster said. “Championship season starts today and we need to tighten things up and execute as a group.”
The Longhorns will prepare for the championship portion of its season as they host the Big 12 Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park.