Longhorns bounce back from disappointing first meet

Rachel Wenzlaff

After dropping from No. 6 to No. 22 in the rankings following the Louisville Classic two weeks ago, the Longhorns were looking for redemption, and they found it at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational and the Concordia Invitational this past weekend.

Misfortune struck senior Kyle Merber (and a few other Longhorns) in his first race as he fell on the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational course. However, Merber still managed to finish 93rd overall and contribute to Texas’ fourth place finish out of a field of 45 teams.

“Falling down in the first 400m was definitely not part of the game plan,” Merber said. “But it’s cross-country, and sometimes the circumstances change and you have to adjust your goals for the race. While going down in the race hurt our finish as a team, it could have been much worse and we are lucky that no one sustained a more serious injury than bumps, bruises and some cuts.”

In the Concordia Invitational, Texas managed to keep the winning tradition alive for the third consecutive year against Texas State and Texas-Pan American. The Longhorns blew out Texas-Pan American, defeating them by 39 points, and slid past Texas State by a margin of five points.

Sophomore Craig Lutz returned to his familiar role, leading the Longhorns with a 12th place finish at Wisconsin. After leading the team last week, senior Rory Tunningley was the Longhorns’ number-two man this week, coming in 20th place with a personal record time of 23:46.

“We feel we are a better team than our finish indicates,” head coach John Hayes said of the drop in the rankings.