Sutherland leads Women's Cross Country to fifth at Pre-Nationals
Oct. 13, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior Sara Sutherland recorded a top-10 finish and the Texas Women's Cross Country team placed fifth at the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday morning. The 6K race was run at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on the same course as will be used for the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
Sutherland crossed ninth overall (20:10.7) to pace the Longhorns in a 39-team field that featured eight nationally-ranked teams, four of them in the USTFCCCA top-10. Fellow junior Marielle Hall was close behind, posting a 16th-place finish in 20:19.8.
"We were happy, because I was hoping to crack the top five but didn't know if we would," said Texas coach Steve Sisson. "Our main goal going in was to be sure that we ran what we were capable of that day, definitely nothing less than what we were capable of. Our top five ran about as good a race as we could given some challenges we have faced this year, so I was happy."
UT finished with 184 team points behind No. 1-ranked Florida State (72), No. 4 Oregon (87), No. 8 Michigan (141) and No. 6 Georgetown (163). Scoring for Texas behind Sutherland and Hall were junior Megan Siebert (47th, 21:00.4) and seniors Anne Jones (53rd, 21:06.6) and Laleh Mojtabaeezamani (21:07.9). Sophomore Jessica Harper finished 108th in 21:40.3 and junior Brittany Marches placed 176th (22.13.2).
The Longhorns also raced a second team of runners in the "Black" unseeded race. Leading UT was Jenna Read in 33rd place (22:04.4). She was followed by Kendall Howen in 52nd (22:17.8) and Claire Andrews in 81st (22:41.1). Marissa Lee crossed 109th in 23:02.1 and Alaina Perez finished 122nd (23:11.6).
Saturday's meet was UT's last leading up to the Big 12 Championships to be held Oct. 27 in Austin at Jimmy Clay Golf Course. Texas will host the event for the second time, last hosting the event in 2003. The women's 6K race is scheduled for 10 a.m. Central while the men's 8K will take place at 11 a.m. Admission will be free to the public.