UT remains unfazed despite youth

Julie Thompson

Texas heads to the NCAA Championship meet today for the first time since 2002. The Longhorn’s success this season can be credited to all-around efforts from the entire team, but also to a trio of freshmen — Megan Siebert, Marielle Hall and Sara Sutherland.

Texas finished first at the NCAA South Central Regional meet on Nov. 13. Hall was the team’s second finisher, coming in fifth. Sutherland came in ninth and Siebert came in 27th.

“Having a young team definably makes us hungry for success,” Hall said. “I think the whole team has just made the decision to not let our age or experience level deter our success.”

Hall, a New Jersey native, chose to come to Texas because of the coaching staff. Although it can be hard to be so far from home, she feels being on the team has helped ease her transition.

“The team is definitely a big part of why I feel so comfortable here,” Hall said. “They are always fun to be around and just make competing and practicing a good experience.”

Siebert also thinks an overall team camaraderie has contributed to her early success as a Longhorn. She points out the upperclassmen for keeping the young team together.

“I think they have played a big role in keeping us motivated and getting together and doing things and building relationships with each other,” Sibert said.

Mia Behm, a junior runner, says the upperclassmen on the team do make efforts to motivate the freshmen. However, Behm also credits the early success of the freshmen to the team’s relationship and spirit.

“Our team overall is good and it’s because of the freshmen that [head coach] Steve [Sisson] brought in,” Behm said. “The reason they are doing so well in this environment is because they like it here, and I think that sends a message to the people that are looking to go here.”

All of the runners agree that having three freshmen on the lineup has been beneficial this season, and will continue to help the Longhorns in the future.

“Thinking about the future, it’s awesome,” Behm said. “They are this good now and they are only going to get better over the next few years. It’s comforting to know that when I am gone our team will have a solidified future, and it is intimidating for other teams that our team is so young.”

Hall thinks that it is the entire team’s drive that has led to this season’s success.

“It is very exciting to have already made an impact, but I think no one looks at their age as something that should mean they aren’t successful,” Hall said. “Myself and the whole team work hard everyday to be where we are and that’s what is going to give you results on race day, not your age.”