Texas takes top three spots as Women's Cross Country cruises to second-straight team victory
Sept. 29, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - On a rainy Saturday morning, junior Marielle Hall won the women's collegiate race at the Grass Routes Grand Prix with teammates Laleh Mojtabaeezamani and Sara Sutherland grabbing second and third to help Texas to its second-straight team victory. The 5K race was held at Hancock Golf Course in central Austin.
Hall crossed the finish line in 18:24.54. At one point during the race, she was running more than 30 seconds ahead of all other competitors when race officials had her turn around to repeat some of the second loop thinking she had made a wrong turn. Hall still managed to win the race by 10 seconds. Mojtabaeezamani was finished in 18:34.58 and Sutherland recorded a time of 18:43.43.
"Marielle just absolutely crushed it today, absolutely amazing," said Texas coach Steve Sisson. "It is good to know that she is in such a good strength place, and from a training perspective we have a number of girls who are in that ballpark and just need to execute on race day."
"The race went pretty well," Hall said. "We were just looking to put a strong effort in before we head into the championship portion of our season. I think we were prepared (for the weather). One of the things that Steve stresses is that that you're not always going to get the perfect day, you're not always going to feel great, but just to put the effort in. This could happen at any race. It could be muddy, it could be cold, so we just have to gear ourselves up and prepare for it and as long as we get the effort out there, we'll do well."
Steady rain created challenging course conditions throughout the meet. In addition to Hall, Mojtabaeezamani and Sutherland, scoring for Texas (18 points) were Anne Jones (fifth, 18:54.53) and Brittany Marches (seventh, 19:05.29). Jessica Harper was 9th with a time of 19:07.17 followed by Kendall Howen in 10th 19:14.17.
Texas also raced a second team of runners. Leading Texas `B' was Jenna Read in 15th place (19:26.42). She was followed by Marissa Lee (17th, 19:42.85) and Claire Andrews (19th, 19:45.54). Alaina Perez crossed 22nd in 19:58.35 and Melissa Mahoney finished in 28th (20:39.19). Marissa Pekarek also competed, finishing 34th in 21:20.02.
"Our plan of attack today was just to run really easy the first lap and then push hard the second lap," Sisson said. "I thought that we had a few athletes that executed the plan really well and we had others that need to work a little bit. This part of the season after a hard workload like we've been doing and with the weather we got today, all of those things are callousing effects and that's what we're really looking for is how well they can handle it."
Texas will train for two weeks leading up to the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13. The race will be run on the same Louisville, Ky., course as the 2012 NCAA Championships. The 6K women's collegiate race is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Central.
Grass Routes Grand Prix