Longhorns head to familiar territory for Big 12 Championships

Jori Epstein

When Texas competes in the Big 12 Championships Saturday, head coach Stephen Sisson doesn’t expect too many surprises.

“I designed the course, so I know where the twists, turns and strategic points are,” Sisson said. “We’ve had the chance to get out there two to three times, so we’ll be prepared for any intricacies that happen during the race and respond to them well.”

Emerging from a two-week hiatus, Texas last competed in the Pre-Nationals Invitational and finished fifth. The meet bumped up the team’s national USTFCCCA ranking from its season-opening No. 26 to a season-high No. 14. The Longhorns are hosting the conference championships for the first time since 2003, and now face teams including No. 2 Iowa State and No. 27 Oklahoma State.

Hoping to beat its second-place finish from last year, Texas fields a deeper team than in years past. Teammates and coaches agree they no longer rely on one runner to carry weight.

“People feel more of an individual responsibility,” Sutherland said. “Every single girl that will line up on Saturday is going to be prepared, excited to be running at the conference meet and feeling a positive kind of pressure.”

The women’s 6K race begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course.