After picking up a win in California, Texas looks to repeat last season’s strong outing

Jori Epstein

As Longhorn runners loop the Hancock Golf Course three times this weekend, a diverse audience will crowd the Hyde Park Historic District of Austin to watch. Perched in a neighborhood that has seen much transformation, the serene nature trail will undergo its own change into a fierce racetrack for youth, high school, collegiate, open and elite-level racers to take their positions Saturday.

The Longhorn women begin their 6k race at 10:35 a.m. With a burst of speed still intact from its last victory at the Pac 12 Elite, Texas will put up two teams for the meet. Texas “A” racers include seniors Laleh Mojtabaeezamani and Anne Jones, juniors Sara Sutherland, Marielle Hall, Jessica Harper and Brittany Marches, and freshman Kendall Howen. Seven more from the squad will compete as Texas “B.”

At last year’s inaugural Grass Routes Grand Prix Invitational, Texas won the race with three runners placing top five. Sutherland and Hall, who ran 21:39 and 21:53, respectively, hope to place high again this year.

“I am really happy with their performance,” head coach Stephen Sisson said after last year’s run. “I would like to see faster times, but you should do video footage of this course to show people how difficult it really is.”

Always up to the challenge, the Longhorns look to the course with strategies and results extending beyond this weekend. With the Pre-National Cross Country meet Saturday, Oct. 13, this meet is the Longhorns’ last preparatory competition, their last chance to discover the breadth of their talents.