Women's Cross Country preview: Big 12 Championship
Oct. 30, 2008
UP NEXT: The University of Texas women's cross country team travels to Ames, Iowa for the annual Big 12 Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Nov. 1. The 6K race starts at 10 a.m. Central on the Iowa State University Cross Country Course. Results will be posted on TexasSports.com following the race.
TEXAS LINEUP: Competing for Texas in at the Big 12 Championships will be senior Larkin Geyer, juniors Betzy Jimenez, Allison Mendez, Asia Myrland and Lauren Salisbury and freshmen Laleh Mojtabaeezamani, Anne Jones and Mia Behm.
2007 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: Last year's Cross Country Championship was held at the Rawls Golf Course in Lubbock on the campus of Texas Tech University. The Longhorns placed ninth with 177 points -- their highest finish since 2003. Betzy Jimenez led the longhorns finishing the 6K course in 21:36.60 for a 19th place effort. Asia Myrland clocked in at 21:54.30 for 28th, rounding out UT harriers in the top 30. Mariya Townswick posted her highest finish of the season, coming in third for Texas and 34th overall in a career-best 22:05.10. Larkin Geyer, who was named Academic All-Big 12 First Team for the second consecutive season, placed 38th overall. She missed bettering her 6K personal best by just three seconds, ending her run in 22:09.70. Sophomore Lauren Salisbury rounded out UT's scoring with a 58th-place showing. She cleared the course in 22:47.30.
Colorado won its ninth consecutive team championship and 12th overall with 59 points. Host Tech placed second with 83 points and boasted the Big 12 6,000-meter champion Sally Kipyego. Nebraska finished third with 98 point followed by Baylor (155 points) and Oklahoma State (156).
LAST TIME OUT - Chile Pepper Festival: Junior Betzy Jimenez recorded her second-straight top-15 finish to lead the Horns to a sixth-place effort at the 20th annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival, Saturday Oct. 18. Jimenez, fresh off a third-place finish at the Greater Louisville Classic (Oct. 4), completed the race in a career-best 20:58.49 to place 13th overall and first for UT. Texas tallied 220 points for its fourth top-10 finish of the season.
Freshman Laleh Mojtabaeezamani placed second for Texas, finishing the 6K-course in a career-best 21:49.71. Mojtabaeezamani scored for the Longhorns for the fourth-straight meet and was UT's No. 2 harrier for the second time this year. Junior Lauren Salisbury also set a new career mark, clocking in at 21:58.15 for 48th.
Junior Allison Mendez and freshman Mia Behm rounded out the UT contingent, crossing the finish line in 60th (22:14.76) and 61st (22:15.18), respectively. The pair also recorded their fastest times at Texas in the meet.
GREAT START: Texas claimed its fourth-straight team title at the season-opening Texas State Invitational on Sept. 6. The Longhorns placed seven of their 10 runners in the Top 10 to win the title with 23 points. UT was led by senior Larkin Geyer who completed the 5K course in a career-best 17 minutes and 47 seconds for a second-place effort. In addition, four Texas newcomers earned their first career Top 10 finish in the event.
WHO'S BACK: Senior Larkin Geyer and juniors Betzy Jimenez, Geyer and Myrland are the top returning letterwinners for Texas. Jimenez was the second Texas runner to cross the finish line in four meets last season, including the NCAA South Central Region Championships. Geyer, a 2006 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree, scored in five of seven meets as a newcomer, including a 41st place finish (fourth among Longhorn runners) at the NCAA Regionals. Myrland came on strong at the end of the season running her best collegiate race (59th overall, third among Texas harriers) at the Big 12 Championships.