The Rawls Course in Lubbock proved to be a tough challenge for the Longhorns on Saturday.
Hopes of winning a Big 12 cross country title were denied for both the men and women, finishing in third and seventh respectively.
Oklahoma State took home it’s ninth-straight title for the men and Iowa State claimed the women’s trophy.
Despite facing a difficult course, the young Texas team had standout moments.
Freshman Spencer Dodds pushed the pace in the first half of the men’s 8,000-meter run, leading at the 5,000-meter mark in what was his first collegiate championship race.
“That was great confidence by a freshman,” assistant coach Brad Herbster said in a press release. “Everybody got up there, but we just didn’t get up there together, and that’s what we need to do as a group to have the most success. It was a true cross country race.”
Dodds faded on the second half of the harsh course, but kept fighting to finish 27th. Senior Robert Uhr stepped up for the men, finishing with a time of 26:01.1. Uhr’s 13th-place finish in the rigorous race earned him a spot on the all-conference team alongside sophomore Connor Hendrickson, who crossed the finish line in 15th place.
“The turns and hills take a toll on your legs, especially with the bumping and pushing,” Uhr said. “In the middle of the race I made a minor move, but it might’ve been a mistake. Everybody caught up with me and I couldn’t keep up.”
For the women, senior Sandie Raines finished in 12th place with a time of 21:04.1, a significant improvement from her 23rd place finish in the 2015 Big 12 Championship. Raines was the only Longhorn to make the women’s all-conference team. Sophomore Meghan Lloyd and senior Mary Beth Hamilton also finished in the top 30 — 22nd and 27th, respectively.
Now all eyes turn to the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 11 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The top two teams at the regional will automatically advance to the NCAA Championship on Nov. 19.
“Only 31 teams in the country go to nationals,” Herbster said. “You’ve got to be sure that you’re on that day to have success, otherwise you’re going to be left at home and no championship.”