Stanford Invitational

Photo Credit: Griffin Smith | Daily Texan Staff

Texas track and field heads to Stanford

Coming off the high of Texas Relays, the track and field team looks to keep the momentum rolling in a trip to Stanford, California, for the Stanford Invitational.

The meet, which begins Friday, will be the second chance for the majority of the team to make their mark on the outdoor season after putting up a solid performance this past weekend in Austin. Junior Morolake Akinosun was named athlete of the meet for her efforts in helping the Texas women pick up three victories.

Junior Katie Burford, who set her personal best in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:34.79 at last year’s Stanford Invitational, looks to improve upon that career best on what is known as a “fast track” by locals.

In outdoor season, it’s always important to keep an eye on local weather, as poor conditions can affect the athletes in a big way. The weather should be ideal out on the California coast as sun and 70-degree temperatures are in the forecast.

Stanford, which won its last national championship in 2000, plays host to the country’s track and field athletes. With head coach Chris Miltenberg at the helm, the Cardinal is ranked 14th in the country on the men’s side and 12th on the women’s.

The Texas men head into the affair ranked fifth in the country, and the women enter ranked third.

Men's tennis begins four-match home stand against Red Raiders

Coming off a 4–1 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma on Sunday, No. 9 Texas will begin its four-match home stand, starting against unranked Texas Tech on Saturday at the Caswell Tennis Center in Austin. All four matches will come against unranked opponents, and the Longhorns will look to improve upon their 15–3 record before the Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship later this month.

Despite reaching No. 7 in the nation, their highest ITA ranking, on March 24 following their win against UT-Pan American, the Longhorns have struggled lately, narrowly defeating No. 22 Oklahoma State and falling to No. 1 Oklahoma last weekend.

The team’s drop-off in play has been most notable in the singles positions, especially from the Longhorns’ No. 1 singles player, Søren Hess–Olesen. Hess–Olesen reached the No. 1 overall singles ranking in the most recent ITA polls but subsequently lost his next two matches, both in straight sets.

With a top-10 overall ranking in the nation, the Longhorns are still contenders for a Big 12 championship, as well as a national title. In order to contend with the top teams in the nation, Texas looks to get back in the win column starting Saturday.

Marielle Hall’s top-10 all-time performance highlights track and field’s trip to Stanford Invitational

The Longhorn women continued their rampage through the record books this weekend at the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, Calif.

Senior distance runner Marielle Hall led the charge for No. 3 Texas, solidifying her position among the top runners in the nation. The senior completed the 5,000-meter in 15 minutes, 19.26 seconds, good for first in her field of 26 athletes, including 14 professionals. Hall’s time set a UT record and ranks 10th all-time for collegiate 5,000-meter performances. Only three women have topped the time in the past five years.

Senior middle distance runner Katie Hoaldridge rounded out a strong performance for the Texas senior class with an 800-meter time of 2:07.13, less than a half-second away from her personal best. Hoaldridge’s time placed eighth in a field of 77 runners.

Hall and Hoaldridge’s times lie within the range of qualifying for the NCAA West Preliminary Round meet, which serves as the qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The No. 18 men also logged some impressive distance performances in Stanford.

Sophomore distance runner David Anamosa won his 800-meter section and was the only Longhorn man to compete on Saturday. His time of 1:51.13 placed him 16th overall in a group of 83 runners.

Redshirt freshman Nate Moore ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:57.20, a time that last year qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round. The top 48 times and marks in the West Region earn automatic berths to the preliminary round meet, which serves as a qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Junior distance runner Mark Pinales put himself in qualifying position with his career-best time of 29:23.26 in the 10,000 meters. The time placed him 14th in his section of 35 runners.

The Longhorns will return to competition on Saturday with the single-day Texas Invitational, the second of three home meets this season.

Texas men’s golf falls just short of first in Georgia

Texas left Augusta, Ga., this weekend with its third runner-up finish of the season, led by senior Toni Hakula and junior Kramer Hickok, to complete the 3M Augusta Invitational one stroke behind first-place University of Central Florida.

Hakula and Hickok were the only two Longhorns to break into the top 10, as Hakula secured a fourth-place tie and Hickok tied for eighth place. Hakula ended the final round only three strokes behind individual champion Greg Eason of UCF, who carded an 11-under weekend to bring his team the win. Eason was one of three UCF golfers who accomplished single-digit finishes.

Freshman Beau Hossler nearly joined Hakula and Hickok in the top 10, but fell just two strokes short to finish in a tie for 12th place at 2-under. Freshman Gavin Hall and redshirt sophomore Will Griffin carded 3-over and 9-over to come home with ties for 30th and 60th, respectively.

Texas will compete in its last regular season tournament Friday in Santa Cruz, Calif. 

Women’s golf finishes PING/ASU Invitational in top 10

The Longhorns pulled off another strong showing this weekend at the PING/ASU Invitational, recording their second consecutive top-10 finish. Competing on the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. against 14 teams — 12 of which were nationally ranked — Texas recorded a 19-over-par 883 to finish in ninth place.

Sophomore Natalie Karcher paved the way for the team in Friday’s first round, firing 1-under 71 to tie for 12th place on the individual leaderboard. Karcher’s performance put the team in ninth place overall to finish the day.

Saturday’s second round featured more of a group effort, with the team collectively scoring its best single-round score of the spring season, a 4-over-par 292. Texas maintained its position on the scoreboard at ninth place.

The team remained consistent during the final round Sunday, finishing its final regular season tournament in the top 10. Texas’ next competition will be the Big 12 Championship, which it will host from April 25-27.

Men’s tennis beats TCU on Senior Day

The No. 6 Longhorns completed their final season at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Saturday with a 7-0 victory against TCU. The team sent the arena out on a good note, securing an undefeated 9-0 season at the center. Texas’ last undefeated home regular season was in 2010.

“It means a lot to go undefeated at home, especially since it is the final year of this facility,” head coach Michael Center said. “This is one of the more storied tennis facilities in the nation.”

Following the match, the team honored seniors Sudanwa Sitaram and David Holiner in celebration of Senior Day.

“I’m going to miss this group of guys and mostly the family-like atmosphere that UT gives off,” Holiner said.

Saturday marked the team’s second victory of the season against TCU, to tally eight straight against the Horned Frogs. The Longhorns have won 11 of their last 12 matches and are currently riding a six-match winning streak. 

The team will continue conference play against No. 7 Baylor on April 16 in Waco.

Longhorn women’s tennis downs Kansas and Kansas State

The Longhorns continued their dominance over Kansas State and Kansas this weekend to lift their record above .500 for the first time in two months.

No. 25 Texas (10-9, 5-1 Big 12) defeated the Wildcats 7-0 on Saturday, which extended its all-time win streak against the team to 23-0. The win marked the team’s third consecutive shutout, the first time it has done that since 2010. The team snapped that streak Sunday but maintained its sweep of the teams from the Sunflower State. A 6-1 victory against Kansas extended the Longhorns’ undefeated history against the Jayhawks to 26-0.

Freshman Pippa Horn and senior Juliana Gajic clinched the doubles point, which set Texas up for singles competition success.

After beginning Big 12 play 0-2, senior Elizabeth Begley has rebounded with four consecutive wins. Begley gave up only four games this weekend, winning 6-0, 6-1 Saturday and 6-1, 6-2 Sunday.

Freshman Ratnika Batra and sophomore Breaunna Addison improved to 6-0 in conference singles play. Addison defeated Kansas State’s No. 56 Petra Niedermayerova 6-3, 6-2 for her second collegiate
win over the Wildcat.

The Longhorns will wrap up the conference season with three home matches.

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