Men's cross country begins race toward national championship

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Coming off a win at South Central Regional, No. 9 Texas will run in the National Championship today. The 10K race will be run at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

Led by freshman Craig Lutz, Texas has shot up the rankings this season after a preseason ranking of No. 24. The Longhorns will be one of many top contenders looking to dethrone Oklahoma State, who has won three straight titles.

In a race that features more than 200 runners, it will be important for Texas to keep its team strong through the race.

Running in packs will allow Texas to relax and not let the runners get overwhelmed by the adrenaline rush of the situation. When entering the latter sections of the race, the Longhorns will be fresher than their opponents and hope to pass their tired competition.

Earlier this fall, Texas kicked off its season with a surprise performance at Wisconsin. Against some of the top competition in the country, the Longhorns used a No. 6 finish to put themselves on the scene. Texas followed that with a third-place finish in the Big 12 Championships behind powers Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Most recently, Texas won the South Central Regional over Texas A&M and Arkansas, who has been one of the best cross country programs of the last 15 years.

Another strong showing at the National Championships would announce that this Texas team will be a tough team to deal with in the next few years. Coverage of the race will begin at 11 a.m. at NCAA.com, with the race starting at approximately 11:08 a.m.

Printed on Monday, November 21, 2011 as: Texas has something to prove