Sept. 27, 2012
The sixth-ranked University of Texas men's cross country team returns to action on Saturday for the 11th annual Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park - the site of the NCAA Championships in November.
"It is important that we are out there and we get a sense of what we will see in two months [at nationals]," head coach John Hayes said. "That's the whole purpose of going - we are not going to worry about the results. Obviously, we are at Texas and we want to win every competition, and we have the team to do that, but at the same time we are resting some key individuals."
Included in the group of key runners resting this weekend are Ryan Dohner, last season's No. 2 harrier, and Columbia transfer Kyle Merber. Despite the absence of two of its best runners, Texas will still field a deep squad ready to contend for the team title Saturday in a meet that features two other ranked teams - No. 8 Iona and No. 28 Columbia, as well as Georgia, which is receiving votes in this week's USTFCCCA poll.
"We are really deep right now and I have confidence in every single one of the guys we are racing," Hayes said. "I haven't had a group that has worked this hard so consistently. Even tough we wont have the front firepower we will in two weeks, we are a very adequate team."
Sophomore Craig Lutz led the Longhorns in every race he ran last season and will return to the course on Saturday for the first time since placing 33rd at nationals last fall. Joining him will be senior Patrick McGregor, sophomore Mark Pinales, junior Austin Roth, senior Rory Tunningley, freshman Brady Turnbull, senior Trevor Van Ackeren and sophomore Blake Williams.
The men's No. 1 race will begin at 8:30 a.m. Central from E.P. Tom Sawyer Park with live results available through AlltraxTiming.com.
Next meet: Oct. 12 - Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Zimmer Championship Course - Madison, Wis.)