Longhorns place second at Regionals, qualify for NCAA Championships

Jori Epstein

As the clock hit 20 minutes at the Women’s NCAA South Central Regional Championships Friday morning, an eager crowd waited at the 6K finish line. Battling to finish top and qualify for the national championships, burnt orange erupted to the finish line in first and second.

Leading Texas to a second-place finish, juniors Marielle Hall and Sara Sutherland finished first and second, at 20:30.7 and 20:35.3, respectively. Their finishes marked the first Longhorn individual titles at the regional meet, as well as the first time teammates finished in the top two in the meet since 2005. Following senior Laleh Mojtabaeezamani (21:24.5) and junior Megan Siebert (21:30.7) at 13th and 14th, junior Brittany Marches, freshman Kendall Howen and sophomore Jessica Harper finished top 46 of 134 competitors.

“I would love to see us qualify and move on to the NCAA championships,” Sutherland said before the race. “I know the team is capable of that and I am thrilled that we will have the chance to put on our spikes and compete in Fayetteville on Friday.”

Not only did the team qualify, but Hall, Sutherland, Mojtabaeezamani and Siebert earned All-South Central Regional accolades for their performances. Texas (68) will join first-place Arkansas (44) at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday.