the NCAA Championships

Texas divers begin preliminary competitions in Iowa City, Iowa, on Monday as part of the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Meet.

Three men — sophomore Mark Anderson, junior Cory Bowersox and senior Will Chandler — will dive, with Anderson and Chandler competing in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives. Bowersox will compete in just the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. Chandler and Bowersox went 1-2 in the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the Big 12 Championships, and Anderson is the reigning Big 12 platform diving champion. 

The women are sending four divers to Iowa City, and each figures to have a shot to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Murphy Bromberg, the Big 12 3-meter and platform diving champion, will attempt to qualify in all the events, along with juniors  Meghan Houston and Kristina Hoffmann. 

Senior Emma Ivory-Ganja, fresh off her win in the 1-meter event at the Big 12 Championships, will also compete in all three events.

The new zone meets allow divers to compete for a spot in the NCAA Championships in two weeks.

In order to qualify for the NCAA Championships, the Texas men must finish in the top four in their events, while the women must place in the top five.

The culmination of the Texas men’s cross country team’s entire season’s work is set to take place this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. 

The Texas men, after qualifying in second place at the NCAA South Central Regional a week ago, find themselves with a lot to prove at their sixth-straight NCAA Championship appearance. 

Seniors Craig Lutz and Mark Pinales look to lead the team to a better finish than last year’s 14th place finish. Lutz and senior Ryan Dohner won All-American honors in last season’s championships, but the 30th-ranked Longhorns have never been successful in the last meet of the season. Texas hopes to bring back the team’s first championship trophy Saturday.

Since winning the national championship in 2012, the Texas’ men’s golf team has found that hoisting the trophy for a second time is just as hard as it was to win it once.

In their attempt to return as champs in 2013, the Longhorns fell to Illinois in the first round of match play at the NCAA Championships. Last year, Texas failed to qualify for the match play portion of the championship, finishing 13th.

But with standout sophomores Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall returning to the team and incoming freshmen Taylor Funk, Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler providing solid depth, the Longhorns are ready to get back to the top of the college golf world.

“Our team is going to be one of the best in the country this year,” Hossler said in an interview with Longhorn Network.

While the Longhorns struggled in the NCAA Championships, they do come into the year with some momentum from winning their second-straight Big 12 championship — the first time they’ve done that since winning three straight from 2002-2004. They also bring back all but two players from last year’s squad. Senior Kramer Hickok returns after finishing in the top 10 in four tournaments last year, and Hall will look to improve after a disappointing freshman campaign.

Hossler will likely be the leader for Texas on the course, though. He led the team with 24 rounds at or below par last year and was Texas’ highest finisher in three of the last four tournaments, including a season-best third place finish in the Big 12 Championships.

And he’s only gotten better this summer. Since the NCAA tournament, Hossler made the final of the California State Amateur and won both the Southern California Amateur and the Western Amateur. 

The three incoming freshmen will also provide strength. Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in the junior rankings when signed with the Longhorns, was a three-time 4A state champion in Texas and won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, while both Funk and Ghim are likely to be key pieces for the Longhorns for the next four years as well.

Texas will be ready to get off to a strong start when it tees off for the first time in the OFCC/Fighting Illinois Invitational on Sept. 12. 

Photo Credit: Andrea Kurth | Daily Texan Staff

The NCAA Championships will begin Thursday and run through Saturday night at the University of Minnesota’s aquatic center. Nine swimmers and three divers will represent the No. 6 Longhorns. Along with those individuals, all five of Texas’ relay teams qualified for the championships.  

The Longhorns are well acquainted with the NCAA Championships, having won seven in their history, in addition to three second place finishes, and reaching a meet-record 746 points in 1991. As if that isn’t enough, the Longhorns will be led by senior All-Americans Ellen Lobb, Samantha Tucker and Lily Moldenhauer, making their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships.  

Diving coach Matt Scoggin, in his 20th year, also has his share of experience heading into the championships. Senior diver Maren Taylor is making her fourth appearance, while UCLA transfer Emma Ivory-Ganja, a junior diver, and freshman diver Murphy Bromberg will be making their first appearances at the championships.

Lobb is seeded 12th in the 50 freestyle and 35th in the 100 freetyle. On top of that, she is seeded 29th in the 100 butterfly. Moldenhauer, the Texas record holder, is seeded seventh in the 100 backstroke. She is seeded 12th in the 100 butterfly. Tucker is seeded 16th in the 200 freestyle.

The Longhorns also have three junior swimmers, Gretchen Jaques, Kelsey LeNeave and Kaitlin Pawlowicz, who are each making their third consecutive appearance. The two freshmen swimmers, Madisyn Cox and Tasija Karosas, are making their championship debuts. Even without much experience at a meet of this magnitude, Cox ranks 10th nationally in the 200 individual medley, and Karosas is seeded 11th in the 200 backstroke.

The Longhorns are not the favorite to win the meet, as head coach Carol Capitani’s alma-mater and previous employer, California and Georgia, come in ranked No. 1 and 2. But the team’s experience will help it. 

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. 

After four months, six races, two first-place finishes and a slew of awards in her senior season, Marielle Hall is preparing to run the last cross country meet of her college career. The NCAA Championships on Saturday will either cement the remarkable achievements of her final season with the Longhorns or end her final term with a bit of disappointment.

For Hall, though, it’s business as usual.

In terms of competition, Hall likened the NCAA Championships opposition to the caliber seen at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational back on Oct. 19. Hall finished third overall in that meet, earning the Big 12 Cross Country Runner of the Week award for her efforts. Regardless of the augmented competition, Hall said her practice regimen will not change because of a harder race.

While there is anticipation for a championship performance because of two impressive first-place finishes in both the Big 12 and NCAA South Central Regional meets, Hall’s retention of
outside commentary is a textbook case of “in one ear, out the other.”

“I’m not really too focused on what other people have to say, I glad they’re there to say it, because that’s what makes the race exciting, that’s what creates the environment that you want to compete in,” Hall said. “But for me, it’s not really anything that I have to concern myself with.”

Instead, Hall presses on in practice. She places no restrictions on her talents and keeps her eye on the prize: an individual trophy for Texas.

“As long as I put my nose in it, I think that I could get a really great result,” Hall said. “Top five is what I set for myself, and I’m sticking to that. But I don’t want to settle for fifth, I would always like to improve on even what I think that I can do.”

The two-time South Central Region Athlete of the Year heads into the weekend with a newly established poise, no doubt backed by a sensational senior campaign, especially in her last few outings. 

“I think that it’s one of those races where anything can happen,” Hall said. “But for me, it’s just a race, and I have to execute it like I know I can. So I’m very confident in my abilities and in the work that I’ve put in.”

Whether she leaves the course in Terre Haute, Ind., with a medal or not, Hall has made her intention clear.

“Just get out there and run,” Hall said.

The Longhorns earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23 after placing second at the NCAA South Central Regional on Friday. 

Texas has worked all season on running in a pack, but the regional was the first time the Longhorns were successful at running together. Texas had all of its competitors finish in the top 25. 

“We ran in a great pack group today,” assistant coach Brad Herbster said. “That’s the way we’ve been practicing, and finally they pulled it off in a race. Seeing the guys work together and having six in the top 15 at this meet, that’s a pretty impressive feat.”

Senior Ryan Dohner and junior Craig Lutz led the Longhorns with third and fourth place finishes, respectively. 

The Longhorn women travel to Waco again this weekend for the NCAA South Central Regional, looking to earn passage into the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23.

The team heads into what could be its last 6K of the season with high hopes, coming off a remarkable finish led by senior Marielle Hall at the Big 12 championships Nov. 2. Hall snagged the individual title, crossing the finish line more than ten seconds ahead of all other competitors and adding to her 2012 South Central Regional individual victory.

Texas looks to finish as one of the top two teams, which will allow the women’s team to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Longhorns have automatically qualified for the national championship race the last three seasons.

Seniors Megan Siebert and Brittany Marches will compete Friday to earn the team its second regional victory since 2010.

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.

Both the Texas men’s and women’s cross country teams will kick off their 2013 seasons this weekend in Waco at the Bear Twilight Invitational.

The men’s team finished second at the Big 12 Championships last season, first in the NCAA South Central Regional Championships and ninth at the NCAA Championships last November.

This week, the men’s team ranked No. 15 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s preseason poll and ranked second in the South Central Regional poll. Texas’ national spot marks the fourth-straight year the team has been ranked in the top 15.

Senior Ryan Dohner, a top NCAA finisher, will return to the Longhorns men’s team. Dohner placed 19th overall at the national meet, fourth at the regional event and sixth at the Big 12 Championships. 

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association ranked the women’s team No. 27 in the nation, but the Longhorns also secured a No. 2 ranking in the South Central Regional poll. The lady Longhorns finished third at the Big 12 Championships last season and second at the South Central Regional. At the NCAA Championship, the team placed 25th overall.

Senior Marielle Hall, who won the South Central Regional competition in 2012 and finished 23rd at the NCAA Championships, will return for her last season.