For the second meet in succession, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams emerged victorious.
This week’s triumphs transpired in College Station at the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday morning, with a total of sixteen schools from across the region competing.
The men defeated the second place North Texas Mean Green by 35 points. The women narrowly avoided the Missouri Tigers by 5 points.
Coach Brad Herbster praised the men’s team for its strong performance from start to finish, but he was less enthusiastic about the women’s team’s results.
“I think we are a top-20 team in the country on the men’s side,” Herbster said. “The women didn’t show what they’re capable of at all today.”
Herbster noted that the women, like the men, have the athletes to be a top-20 team nationally, but they need to demonstrate that ability for the duration of each race.
“They didn’t do a good job closing out the race,” Herbster said of the women. “They’re just a lot better than that. It looked like they’ve never run a 6K before.”
The last three finishers for the Longhorns in Saturday’s race – Jordan Welborn (32nd), Samantha Young (57th), and Meghan Lloyd (59th) – are all freshmen.
Freshman Alex Cruz, winner of Texas’ first event in the Texas Invitational, followed up her first collegiate meet with another impressive outing, finishing sixteenth place overall in a time of 21:05.9.
“Even though we won, we could have done a little better,” Cruz said. “We have some things to work on, especially racing tactics.”
Meanwhile, the men excelled individually and as a team.
Senior Brady Turnbull set a personal record in the 8K race with a time of 23:36.2, giving him a third place overall finish in the event.
A group of four Longhorns followed nineteen seconds behind Turnbull, giving Texas 5 of the first 11 finishers in the race.
“The whole team ran really fast today,” Turnbull said. “We just need some of the younger guys to hold on at the end of the race.”
Turnbull will try to lead his teammates to a third straight victory at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin on Oct. 2.