Women's Cross Country preview: Pac 12 Preview Elite Invitational
Sept. 20, 2012
The No. 27 Texas Women’s Cross Country team will travel west this week to compete in the Pac 12 Preview Elite Invitational on Friday, Sept. 21, in Santa Clarita, Calif. The 5K women’s collegiate invitational race will take place at 7:40 p.m. Central at Robinson’s Ranch Golf Course.
Racing for Texas on Friday will be seniors Laleh Mojtabaeezamani and Anne Jones, juniors Sara Sutherland, Marielle Hall, Megan Siebert, Jessica Harper and Brittany Marches, sophomore Jenna Read, redshirt freshmen Marissa Lee and Alaina Perez and freshmen Kendall Howen and Claire Andrews.
The Longhorns enter their 2012 campaign looking to build off a solid 2011. Prior to opening last season with four team victories, one in which Texas recorded a perfect score of 15, UT matched its highest national ranking (14th) in the past decade At the 2011 Big 12 Championships, the Longhorns placed second with Hall and Sutherland each earning all-league honors. Texas also placed second at the 2011 South Central Regional Championships to earn automatic qualification for the NCAA Championships. All five UT scorers, including four 2012 returnees, finished in the top-25 to earn USTFCCCA All-South Central Region honors.
Under the guidance of seventh-year coach Steve Sisson, Texas has qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of the last two seasons, having earned a team spot in 2010 for the first time in seven years. The Longhorns return five of seven members from the 2011 NCAA Championships squad (Mojtabaeezamani, Sutherland, Siebert, Hall and Marches) with Siebert, Hall, Sutherland and Mojtabaeezamani also having competed for Texas at NCAAs in 2010.
In addition to its strong returnee group, Texas also adds significant depth to the roster with a 10-member freshmen class that has already made an impact in the 2012 preseason. Howen and Andrews will look to continue that trend at this weekend’s meet.
The Longhorns will next compete on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the second annual Grass Routes Grand Prix in Austin. The meet will take place at Hancock Golf Course with the 6K collegiate women’s race scheduled for 10:35 a.m. Central.