Texas two-stepping to Seattle, Albuquerque

Julie Thompson

The Longhorns will split up again this week as part of the team heads to the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque and the remainder competes in the Husky Classic in Seattle.

No. 8 Texas distance runners will face the top distance teams at the invite-only Husky Classic. Other teams participating include No. 1 Oregon, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 7 BYU, No. 9 Auburn and many others.

The Longhorns don’t feel intimidated by the competition. Instead, they say it will help them improve.

“I feel really excited for all of us because [assistant coach] Steve [Sisson] has been training us to prep for this meet, for us all to get good times,” junior runner Mia Behm said. “With the training that we are going in with, along with the competition we are going to be facing, it should bode well for really good results.”

The team previously split up on Jan. 28-29 to compete at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville and the Houston Invite.
In Fayetteville, junior Angele Cooper ran the nation’s second-fastest 400-meter time (52.69), and senior Chantel Malone posted the second-best long jump in school history (21-10).

After the Jan. 28-29 meets, Malone was named Big 12 Athlete of the Week for her performance. Her 21-10 jump puts her at first in the nation.

Because the Husky Classic is focused on distance, Malone, Cooper and much of the team will compete at the Don Kirby Invitational.

Other high performers that will participate in the Don Kirby meet include Shanay Briscoe, who placed third in the high jump in Fayetteville with a mark of 5-8.75, and Briana Nelson who finished fourth place in the 400 with a personal time of 53.31.

Distance runners Betzy Jimenez, Behm, Julie Amthor and Sara Sutherland all plan to compete in the 3,000 in Seattle. Jimenez and Behm will also participate in the 5,000.

Behm feels confident that both meets will go well for the Longhorns.

“We are real tight as a team, we get along really well, and I feel like we all want to perform well,” she said. “We are all really fit this season, and I think we will do well.”