Men's Cross Country finishes ninth at the NCAA Championships
Nov. 17, 2012
Ryan Dohner finished 19th overall to help propel an injury-depleted Texas team to a ninth-place showing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Dohner, a junior who earned All-America honors for placing among the top 40 individuals, crossed the finish line of the 10K race in 29:43.2. Senior Rory Tunningley was 50th in 30:17.8 among the 245 competitors at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky.
The Longhorns, who automatically qualified for the NCAA meet by winning the South Central Regional title for the second-straight year last week, were dealt a blow by losing the production of sophomore Craig Lutz, an All-American last season.
Lutz who finished sixth (second among UT runners) at the South Central Regional and 33rd (first among Longhorns) at last year's NCAA meet was unable to finish the race.
"Craig got hurt during the race," middle distance/distance coach John Hayessaid. "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."
Oklahoma State (72 points) claimed the title in the 31-team field. Wisconsin (135) was second and Colorado (158) third.
The Longhorns (291) were the top team from the South Central Region (Arkansas was 10th) and posted their seventh top-10 finish in school history.
Ryan Merber led a pack of Longhorns by finishing 98th in 30:43.5. Patrick McGregor was 105th (30:46.4) and Trevor Van Ackeren was 110th (30:51.1). Mark Pinales crossed the finish line in a time of 31:58.5 and finished 215th, but did not figure into the scoring.
"We had a good season and we're excited about the future," said Hayes, who has led the Longhorns to the NCAA Championships each of the last four seasons.
The Longhorns were 11th at the national meet last season, 26th in 2010 and tied for 28th in 2009. This year's finish was their best since 2006 (seventh).
"We've continued to improve every year and hope we can continue that next year," said Hayes.
Texas, which has appeared in the NCAA Championships in 11 of the last 13 years, will return a pair of All-Americans next season in Dohner and Lutz.
NCAA Cross Country Championships Team Scores