Cross-country is typically not a sport designed with spectators in mind.
However, the UT athletics department of Events and Operations has been preparing for the past few years in order to make the Big 12 Championship hosted in Austin on the Jimmy Clay Golf Course just that: a spectator sport.
“I believe this is the best cross-country team Texas has ever had, and we are excited to get to show that to everyone in Austin,” senior Rory Tunningley said.
Despite having an unaccustomed loop course, the Longhorns will have a perceived “home-field advantage” Saturday at 11 a.m. The team may be unfamiliar with the loop, but the familiar faces in the crowd are expected to provide an encouraging and lively atmosphere for the Longhorns.
“We are going to need perfect races from the group in order to pull off the upset. Having the home-field advantage and a large crowd to cheer us on will only help us get to where we need to be,” sophomore Craig Lutz said.
Texas hasn’t won the Big 12 Championship in more than 15 years, but the Longhorns have managed to change history once already this year with their preseason ranking in the highest position it has ever been, so who is to say they can’t do it again?
“At the University of Texas, we want to win Big 12 championships, and we aren’t going to back away from that,” assistant coach John Hayes said.
The men’s race will begin at 11 a.m.