Craig Lutz

Although she posted a strong first season in the fall, freshman libero Cat McCoy might not see action this spring after re-aggravating a foot injury during the USA Volleyball tryouts.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Men's golf

The No. 2 men’s golf team returned to action this weekend, finishing in fourth place at the 3M Augusta Invitational. 

Freshman Scottie Scheffler, who led the team for the first time this season, birdied five times on the final round to record a personal best 12-under par (67–70–67) and land in second place on the individual leaderboard.

As a team, the Longhorns finished six strokes short of first-place finisher New Mexico, which finished 26-under par.

Sophomore Beau Hossler and freshman Doug Ghim tied for 20th place, each with a 3-under-par 213 over the three rounds. Senior Kramer Hickok came in 42nd with a 218, and sophomore Gavin Hall rounded out the Longhorns with a 222 for 54th place.

The team continues its season next weekend in Santa Cruz, California at the Western Intercollegiate.

Men's tennis

After 15 years at the head of the Longhorns’ program, head coach Michael Center secured his 300th win when No. 9 Texas defeated No. 21 Texas Tech by a score of 4–1 Saturday. 

The Longhorns got off to a rocky start as they lost the doubles point for the 10th time this season. But the Texas deficit didn’t last long as the Longhorns rallied with four consecutive victories at the singles positions, highlighted by a hard-fought 7–6, 0–6, 6–1 victory by senior Clement Homs, which improves his season record to 5–0.

Following the victory over Texas Tech, Center’s new record at Texas stands at 300–105. In addition to his .741 winning percentage, Center has coached 16 ITA All-Americans and has won Big 12 Coach of the Year four times throughout his career with the Longhorns. 

“I’m proud of the student-athletes I’ve had, not only this year, but in the past, that have made contributions to our program while they were here and after their graduation,” Center said. “It has been very gratifying, and I’m looking forward to many more with this group.”

Texas will continue its four-match home stand Tuesday against unranked UTSA at the Caswell Tennis Center in Austin.

Track and field

Texas track and field didn’t send many runners to California for the Stanford Invitational, but the ones who went were successful on the long trip.

Friday represented the only running action for the Longhorns. Senior Craig Lutz and sophomore Sandie Raines led the group of distance runners from Texas in the team’s first performance since the 88th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

Raines ran the 5,000 meters in a time of 15:48.04, just 36 seconds off the school’s top mark Marielle Hall set last year. Lutz posted the school’s second best time in history in the 10,000 meters with a time of 28:33.48. His time is just 14 seconds off the University’s top mark.

The Longhorns have a chance for some home cooking at the Texas Invitational this weekend in Austin. The meet begins Saturday morning with the women’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. and will conclude with the highly anticipated men’s 4x400-meter relay Saturday evening.

Volleyball

It might only be the spring season, but Amy Neal was in midseason form Friday night.

The junior outside hitter posted 22 kills, 15 digs and three aces in a 4–1 Texas win over SMU, the team’s first victory of the spring.

Texas dropped the opening set of the match despite outhitting SMU .267 to .191. But the Longhorns dominated from that point on. They held the Mustangs to a negative hitting percentage in the second set and took the remaining three sets with an average hitting percentage of .317.

Sophomore middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu, who was named to the NCAA Division I All-Tournament team in the fall, recorded a team-high .522 hitting percentage along with 14 kills and nine blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Paulina Prieto Cerame finished the night with 12 kills and 16 digs. 

Junior outside hitter Cailin Bula led the Mustangs with 11 kills and nine digs and junior setter Avery Acker posted 23 digs.

The Longhorns will be back in action this weekend at the F.A.S.T. Complex Collegiate Invite in Houston. Texas returns to Gregory Gym for its last match of the spring season on April 24. The team will play against UTSA. 

Women's tennis

In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, the Ohio State Buckeyes toppled the Longhorns, 4–1.

The Buckeyes started off strong, swiftly taking the doubles point.

The Texas sophomore tandem, Pippa Horn and Neda Koprcina, fell to its competition on court three and Ohio State clinched the doubles point on court one. Ohio State’s No. 44-ranked pair of sophomores, Gabrielle De Santis and Sandy Niehaus, defeated the Texas duo of junior Breaunna Addison and senior Lina Padegimaite in a 6–2 decision.

Freshmen Ryann Foster and Dani Wagland held their own on the second court before play was suspended.

In singles competition, No. 47 Addison, the Professional Tennis Registry Female Player of the Year, posted a victory over her Ohio State competitor, De Santis. Addison added a fifth-straight singles win with this triumph, ending De Santis’ win streak at Ohio State’s No. 1 singles position.

On the other courts, Texas struggled to win a set against Ohio State. Koprcina dropped a 6–1, 6–1 decision to Niehaus on court three, allowing Niehaus to seal her eighth-straight singles victory.  

Foster and Wagland fell to their competition, freshman Anna Sanford and sophomore Miho Kowase, on the second and fifth courts. Padegimaite’s and Horn’s matches were both suspended following Ohio State’s victories on the other courts.

Over the weekend, Texas added two new games to their schedule, including an upcoming match against Abilene Christian University at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Whitaker Tennis Courts.

Senior Ashley Spencer looks to improve her No. 2 ranking in the 400 meters this weekend in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas indoor track and field team will split up for two meets this weekend. Most of the team will compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky, and the pole vaulters and throwers will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to participate in the Lobo Collegiate Invitational.

At the McCravy Memorial, which is typically a challenging meet with stacked fields, Texas will face off against eight men’s and women’s top-25 teams, including No. 1 Florida and Oregon, which has a second-ranked men’s team and third-ranked women’s team.

Texas is still a contender, however, bringing in the eighth-ranked men’s team and the fifth-ranked women’s team, which includes senior Ashley Spencer, junior Courtney Okolo and sophomore Kendall Baisden, who are all ranked inside the top seven for the 400 meters. In the 3,000-meter run, All-American senior Craig Lutz will compete against defending national champion Edward Cheserek from Oregon, as well as fellow All-Americans Kemoo Campbell of Arkansas and Johnny Gregorek of Oregon. Lutz also holds the second-best time in the nation this year in the 5,000 meters.

The action in Kentucky starts Friday, with combined events in the morning, field events at 2 p.m. and running events at 6:20 p.m. The SEC Network will broadcast Saturday’s events.

In New Mexico, the Longhorns will compete in the shot put, weight throw and pole vault at the Lobo Collegiate Invitational. Junior Ryan Crouser looks to start his trek toward a national champion repeat in the shot put. Arizona and Stanford are two of the prominent teams competing in these events.

The Lobo Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, starts at 11 a.m. Friday.

Junior forward Kelsey Shimmick hustles after the ball in the Longhorns’ 2-0 loss to No. 17 West Virginia on Sunday. The Mountaineers outshot the Longhorns 17-11 throughout the game. 

Photo Credit: Mike McGraw | Daily Texan Staff

Cross country

Texas cross country faced its longest race so far at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota this weekend, where the 8K and 6K races showed both the men and women, respectively, that there is room for improvement. The men’s team placed all five scoring runners in the top 90 out of 300, while the women struggled early to run as a team. 

It wasn’t a struggle for everyone, however, as senior Craig Lutz led the men’s race from the start, only relinquishing the lead to two other runners throughout the race. He surged back to cross the line at second place, less than two seconds behind the individual champ, Nate Jewkes of Southern Utah. 

Fellow senior Mark Pinales kept up with Lutz for the majority of the race, slipping toward the end to a finish in 10th-place. 

The men’s team earned sixth place, with freshmen Jacob Pickle in 36th and Robert Uhr at 90th, joined by junior Brady Turnbull at 77th. 

The women’s team broke apart early, leaving some runners to fend for themselves in the pack, which ultimately resulted in their 22nd-place finish, led again by sophomore Sandie Raines, who finished up at 69th place. 

The Longhorns now have a three-week hiatus before heading to Terre Haute, Indiana, on Oct. 18 for the NCAA Pre-National Invitational — the same course the Longhorns hope to return to for the NCAA Championships.

Men's tennis

This weekend, the Texas men’s tennis team began competition in the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Junior Michael Riechmann, the only Longhorn who competed over the weekend, fell to freshman Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest (7-5, 6-1) in the opening round of the pre-qualifying draw.

Sophomore George Goldhoff, senior Adrien Berkowicz and junior Nick Naumann will begin competition in the qualifying draw Monday. All three players enter competition ranked, with Goldhoff leading the way at No. 56 and Berkowicz and Naumann following at No. 106 and No. 113, respectively.

Senior All-Americans Søren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool, who automatically qualify for the main singles and doubles draw, will begin play Thursday.

Hess-Olesen is currently ranked at No. 5 in singles, and Glasspool is ranked at No. 31. As a doubles team, they are ranked No. 4.

Play began Saturday and will continue through Oct. 6.

Women's soccer

The Longhorns (6-4-2) made their 2014 Big 12 debut with a hard-fought 1-0 overtime win against No. 6 Texas Tech (9-1-0) on Friday night, followed by a 2-0 loss to No. 17 West Virginia (8-2-2) on Sunday.

Both keepers played brilliantly in Friday’s game to keep it scoreless in regulation. Texas junior keeper Abby Smith blocked a handful of close-range rockets, and Red Raider sophomore keeper Lauren Watson, flashed some acrobatic skills  to keep Texas off the scoreboard through the first 90 minutes.

Texas finally hit the back of the net seven minutes into overtime. Freshman forward Olivia Brook received a pass at the top of the box, turned and floated a left-footer over Watson and into the top left corner of the net for a golden goal. 

“I just think that we talked about it at halftime, and we decided we just need to go for it, and we need to take more shots and take advantage of every opportunity,” Brook said. “I think we did that.” 

Texas struggled out of the gate in its Sunday contest against WVU, but it held the Mountaineers scoreless until a 10-yard shot in the 43rd minute by junior forward Kelsie Maloney deflected off a Texas defender into the net. 

A goal from sophomore forward Ashley Lawrence in the 62nd minute sealed the win for WVU.

Texas will continue conference play with a road contest against Iowa State on Friday at 7 p.m. 

Women's tennis

The Texas women’s tennis doubles teams of freshmen Ryann Foster and Danielle Wagland, and junior Lana Groenvynck and sophomore Pippa Horn, won their pre-qualifying opening matches during the ITA All-American Championship on Saturday.

Foster and Wagland posted an 8-6 win over Houston’s Elena Kordolaimi and Despoina Vogasari, before winning their second match Sunday against Northwestern’s Lok Sze Leung and Manon Peri for a berth in the qualifying rounds. 

Groenvynck and Horn defeated USC’s Meredith Xepoleas and Gabrielle Smith 9-7, but fell Sunday to Florida’s Peggy Porter and Josie Kuhlman 8-3. In singles, sophomore Neda Koprcina lost to Kuhlman 6-4, 0-6, 0-6. 

The qualifying rounds for women’s doubles begin Tuesday in Los Angeles.

In frigid weather conditions, the Texas men’s cross country team completed the season by finishing 14th at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.  

Ryan Dohner and Craig Lutz led the way for the Longhorns with their best finishes at nationals. Dohner finished in 11th and Lutz followed with a 14th place finish. Dohner and Lutz’s great finishes earned them both All-American honors.

This is only the fourth time in Texas history that multiple Longhorns earned All-American honors — the first time since 1989.

Behind Dohner and Lutz, Mark Pinales finished in 125th, Collin Smith in 146th, Chris Galvin in 163rd, Austin Roth in 187th and Eduardo Rodriguez rounded out the scoring in 225th place finish.

With the conclusion of cross country season, the Longhorns will place their focus on the indoor track season.

Texas begins its indoor season in January at the Arkansas-Texas Dual in Fayetteville, Ark. 

Photo Credit: Eric Park | Daily Texan Staff

Months of waking up before dawn and long practices are about to pay off for the men’s cross country team. 

Texas is entering the most important part of its year — championship season. The men will participate in the Big 12 Cross Country Championships, the first step to reaching the
NCAA South Regionals and the NCAA National Championship. 

The Longhorns had early season success, finishing second at the Baylor Invitational and winning both the Ricardo Romo Classic and the Texas Invitational. But Texas struggled at the Wisconsin Invitational, finishing 18th out of 36 teams. 

Head coach Brad Herbster blamed the struggles at Wisconsin to a lack of consistency. The team was not able to stay together in a pack, which caused the disappointing finish.

But the team realizes it still has an opportunity to accomplish its goals. This season, Texas has changed its focus from individual success to team success.

“When you start throwing more elements into the team there are sacrifices made, meaning extra hours of training,” junior All-American Craig Lutz said. “[Are these sacrifices] worth winning a national title? Most would say yes. Most people want to feel that. Winning nationals would definitely be an even better experience.”

Texas features seasoned runners such as Lutz, senior All-American Ryan Dohner, senior Austin Roth and junior Mark Pinales. Texas will rely on Lutz and Dohner to help them advance further into the championship season. 

“We’re trying to be national champions,” Lutz said. “I feel like I’m at the national level to help us get points for the team.” 

Helping Texas advance to the round will be a big accomplishment for Lutz after struggling down the stretch with injuries last season. For the team’s six seniors, this will be their last opportunity to get to nationals and bring Texas its first cross country national championship. 

“This year is [our] last year here,” Roth said. “We have a really solid team this year. We want to get the most out of the last chance [we] have. For us, we put in all this work to win
a championship.”

Standing in Texas’ way are talented Big 12 foes from the Longhorns’ border rivals to the North. 

“Our men’s team will be in a good battle with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, both teams currently ranked ahead of us on the national poll,” Herbster said. 

Herbster expects Texas to rebound from their disappointing performance at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. 

“We did not do a good job of packing it in at Wisconsin,” Herbster said. “That is the focus at Big 12 [schools]. Be where you need to be when you need to be there.”

The Big 12 Championship is in Waco on Nov. 2. 

Junior All-American Craig Lutz was always the best runner on his high school team, but when he arrived at Texas, he quickly realized that his teammates and the competition were just as good as him. 

“I jumped into a program like Texas where I was no longer number one,” Lutz said. “From day one, it was always, you have to work your way through the woodwork and work with the team. But your individual goals are still in front of you.”

Lutz, who was twice named Gatorade Runner of the Year in Texas and was selected to the World Junior Cross Country team in high school, hasn’t been fazed by the competition. As a freshman, Lutz finished 33rd in the NCAA Championships, which earned him All-American honors. He also placed 13th at the Big 12 Outdoor Track Championships, which earned him the Freshman of the Year award. 

“When you achieve that [All-American honors] especially at the University of Texasb you are representing the state itself,” Lutz said. “The men’s cross country and track teams have had a lot of individual success over the years, it’s nice to know that I’m a part of that success.” 

At the start of his sophomore year, Lutz picked up where he had left off, participating in five cross country events and qualifying for nationals. But during nationals, Lutz suffered a leg injury which forced him to stop running. 

“It’s pretty hard to wear the burnt orange and drop out like that,” Lutz said. “It was definitely a shock.”

Pushing through the injury helped Lutz learn he could push through challenges. This helped Lutz during his sophomore outdoor track season where he finished third in the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA Championships and earned his second All-American honor and his first in outdoor track. Lutz’s third place finish helped Texas to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. 

“The hard work and dedication got me to where I was in outdoor,” said Lutz. “Sometimes you need to go through those hardships to help you bounce back.”

Now in his junior year, Lutz’s goal is to win an individual championship but his ultimate goal is to help Texas win the Big 12 conference title and ultimately a national championship. 

In his first cross country event this season, he finished in first place and looks to continue performing well when Texas competes at the Wisconsin Adidas
Invitational on Saturday.

Craig Lutz was unable to finish the National Championship due to a leg injury. The loss hurt the Horns’ chance at the title. Photo courtesy of UT Athletics.

You may not be watching, but they’re there. They’re awake before the sun hits the horizon, running upwards of 85 miles per week, pushing their minds and bodies past standard limitations.

Cross-country doesn’t draw the 100,000 of spectators other sports have, but the hard work and dedication put in is equivalent, if not more. What sets cross-country apart is the grueling mental motivation required. It is one of the few sports in which your biggest competition is yourself. It’s a fight to see how much you can convince yourself you are capable of.

“If you are not mentally tough you can struggle no matter how good of a cross-country runner you are,” senior Rory Tunningley said.

“Running at our level isn’t a natural thing for the body. So while we can prepare it all we want and reach a top physical peak, our minds will always battle our bodies and say that the places we try to take it are unreasonable and dangerous. The greatest runners are the ones who don’t allow their minds to control them,” sophomore Craig Lutz added.

Despite the separate mental focus of each athlete and cross-country’s appearance as an individual sport, the Longhorns assert that they are nothing less than family — and that includes their coach.

Senior Kyle Merber, a transfer student from Columbia, said, “You have got to admire the way [coach John Hayes] runs the program. This is his passion, not just a job for him. I know that he stays up late at night thinking of ways he can make us better, and that enthusiasm carries over into the way the team operates on a daily basis.”

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced John Hayes as the NCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

With Hayes’s inspiration, Texas had every expectation to make history. They came into the season with the highest preseason ranking in program history in the USTFCCCA poll at No. 6, finished second in the Big 12 Championship and took first for the second consecutive year at the regionals meet to qualify for the nationals meet.

Finishing 9th at nationals may appear to be a success, but the team with a No. 5 ranking and the drive to place in the top three, perceived it as a loss. The Longhorns were at their mental and physical peaks, but still faced obstacles.

A leg injury to Lutz crippled the Longhorns at nationals, preventing him from completing the race, impairing the overall team score. Initially, Lutz was flooded with feelings of guilt for the team and disappointment in himself. However, one of the most impressive aspect of the men’s cross-country team is how they stand together.

“I would describe the team as a family unit that you can come back to when you’re having your worst of days that will always embrace you no matter how you do, or no matter what happens on any given day. Its just comforting to know that there’s a group of guys that always have my back,” Lutz said.

Within the week after the meet, with the support from his family and the team, Lutz came to accept his misfortune. “I have no regrets from this season. At first I thought I could say my performance at nationals but there wasn’t a lot of control I had in that situation. All I can do is learn from it and build my character to something stronger for next year.”

While Lutz will return, the Longhorns will be losing key members in Merber, Tunningley, Patrick McGregor, Trevor Van Ackeren next season.

“I put personal goals to the side this year; for me the 2012 cross country season was about the team. As a team leader I was centered on not just getting myself to perform at a high level but to also make sure that my teammates were prepared to do the same,” Tunningly said.

The younger members on the team will have some big shoes to fill next season and even higher expectations to face, but with a family behind them, anything is possible.

With Texas’ highest ranking in program history, the NCAA Championship was shaping up to be a history-making race. If the results had reflected the Longhorns’ rank, Texas would have finished in fifth place, yet because of sophomore Craig Lutz’s unfortunate injury, Texas finished ninth.

Junior Ryan Dohner, who earned All-American Honors for his performance, did his best to boost the Longhorns up in the results with a 19th place finish.

Lutz had been working through sustained leg pain in the recent weeks before the meet; however, the injury was not expected to limit him severely in the race. Yet, because of the injury, Lutz was incapable of completing the race, dealing a significant blow to the overall team results.

“Craig got hurt during the race,” assistant coach John Hayes said. “The guys on the team see that, so it affects them, but I felt we held our composure. It was just not the result we were hoping for.”

Despite the disappointing results, coaches and the returning Longhorns acknowledge their success and are hopeful for next year.

“We had a good season and we’re excited about the future,” Hayes said.

Fifth place was good, but not good enough for the Texas cross-country team.

In the Greater Louisville Classic held Sept. 29, in which Texas received a fifth place finish, the then No. 6-ranked Texas was surpassed by the then No. 8-ranked Iona. This weekend however, Texas is determined to perform to the standard that was set by their initial No. 6 position.

The Wisconsin Adidas Invitational will be held Friday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. The race includes two separate races, the Championship Race, beginning at 12 p.m., and the ‘B’ Race, beginning at 2 p.m.

Running in the Championship race are senior Rory Tunningley, who led the Longhorns in the Louisville Classic, and sophomore Craig Lutz. Also making their first season appearances are senior Kyle Merber, junior Ryan Dohner and sophomore Mark Pinales.

Lutz, who up until the Louisville Classic, led the team in every meet since his start with the Longhorns, was disappointed in his performance two weeks ago and plans to improve his run Friday. “The Louisville meet was a very selfish situation for me. [Assistant coach John Hayes] said it was the poorest mental performance he’s seen me produce. Coming into Wisconsin this week I feel like just getting things under control will make all the difference,” Lutz said.

Additionally, freshman David Anamosa, senior CJ Jessett, junior John McNamara, junior Kevin Rayes, sophomore Kyle Thompson and freshman Shaun Van der Walt will attempt to keep a winning tradition alive for the third year in a row in Cedar Park at the Annual Cross Country Invitational hosted by Concordia University at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.

Brock Simmons, races between two Stanford Cardinal runners during last weekend's Texas Relays. He will run the 5000-meter at the Stanford Invitational.

Photo Credit: Thomas Allison | Daily Texan Staff

Imagine Texas Relays with a slightly cooler breeze and equal levels of excitement — and you get this weekend’s 38th Stanford Invitational. A select group of the No. 5 Longhorns will barely have a chance to come off their runners-high as they pick up the intensity on the road.

Top high school, collegiate and professional athletes will be competing alongside Texas at the extravaganza in search of qualifying marks for the postseason. Longhorn sprinters and fielders will rest up from last weekend’s Texas Relays, while a group of distance runners head to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Sophomores Austin Roth and Collin Smith will compete in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Roth won the event at the UCLA Dual meet at the start of the outdoor season, while Smith came in third.

Boys and girls high school events will be scattered throughout the day, leading up to the climax of the evening. What’s known as the ‘distance carnival’ will begin today at 5:15 p.m. and continue late into the night. Collegiate and professional athletes will compete in a slew of ongoing distance races that will conclude with the men’s 10000-meter run scheduled for 10:44 p.m.

A Texas trio featuring Ryan Dohner, Craig Lutz and Brock Simmons will run as competitors in the 5000-meter. Dohner and Lutz will run in the second section of the event, while Simmons will compete in section three. This will be Lutz’s first race of the outdoor season, as the cross-country All-American was busy competing in cross country this past fall.

The Longhorns’ second trio of athletes, Mark Pinales, Will Nation and Rory Tunningley, will debut in the 10000-meter run for the first time in 2012. This event will also be the first go-round of the outdoor season for Nation and Tunningley.

The Cardinal boasts that their athletes will be among the top of the featured competition, and one of particular interest to Texas is senior Chris Derrick. The distance runner is a 13-time All-American and a three-time NCAA Runner-Up, as well as one of six men to finish in the top 10 all four years at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. He will use the 1500-meter run as a tune-up in preparation for the remainder of the season.

Printed on Friday, April 6, 2012 as: Distance runners head West to face top-level competition