No. 14 Women's Cross Country finishes third at Big 12 Championships
Oct. 27, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Women's Cross Country team had two runners finish in the top-10 en route to third place at Saturday's Big 12 Championships at Jimmy Clay Golf Course.
Sara Sutherland crossed the 6K line third overall in 20:19.7, the highest finish by a Longhorn at the conference meet since Liz Diaz finished third in 1998. Marielle Hall was close behind in sixth (20:32.7), marking the first time Texas had two runners finish in the top-10 at Big 12s since 2003. Megan Siebert was 15th in 21:28.4, earning the trio of juniors All-Big 12 honors.
"I felt good," Sutherland said. "I really was hoping to break into that little Iowa State pack that they had going there. That didn't happen today. But one of the best motivations as a competitor is to look at somebody that you aspire to beat and really think about beating them. That's a good thing for me and I was happy that I was able to place where I did. My goal was to place in the top three individually, so I was happy."
UT finished with 87 team points, just six points behind second-place Oklahoma State. Rounding out Texas' top-five were junior Brittany Marches (30th, 21:53.9) and freshman Kendall Howen (34th, 22:01.3), who recorded her best 6K finish of the season. Also racing for Texas on Saturday were senior Anne Jones (35th, 22:05.6), sophomore Jenna Read (48th, 22:26.6), senior Laleh Mojtabaeezamani (22:35,5), sophomore Jessica Harper (22:42.1) and freshman Claire Andrews (22:45.8).
"When you look at the piece of paper [with results], it's a bit disappointing," Texas coach Stephen Sisson said. "But if you look at each one of the individuals and where they ran, I think that we had a great performance. I think that we had some kids that we were a little worried about. We weren't sure whether they would be able to respond or show up and they did. We had an unexpected drop in our four spot that really hurt us today. With her where she needs to be, we will be where we need to be when we get to the regional and national meets. And that's our focus: getting ready for the regional meet and making it to the national meet."
Iowa State successfully defended its Big 12 title with 34 points, led by a 1-2 finish of Betsy Saina (20:06.8) and Meaghan Nelson (20:10.2). All five of the Cyclones' scoring runners finished in the top-15.
"I think the biggest thing about that is how awesome it is that we have the No. 2-ranked team in our conference," Sutherland said of Iowa State. "They always say you have to compete against the best to be the best, so we really do have an advantage [going forward]. We're not running a slouch of a conference. It's the Big 12. It's really exciting that we get to come out here and see how we stack up against the best of the best. That just helps us to compete better."
The championships portion of the 2012 season continues for the Longhorns on Saturday, Nov. 9 with the NCAA South Central Regional. The meet will take place in Fayetteville, Ark., at Agri Park with the women's race scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Central. Texas will look to finish in the top two in the team standings to earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17.
Big 12 Championships
Individual Top 10