No. 19 Texas competes in NCAA Cross Country Championships

Jori Epstein

As a team, Texas finished second at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 9. Individually, Marielle Hall and Sara Sutherland finished first and second respectively. Division I coaches awarded Hall the South Central Region Athlete of the Year honors for the 2012 cross country season. In addition, Hall, Sutherland, Megan Siebert and Laleh Mojtabaeezamani each received All-Region accolades for last weekend’s performance.

But when they step on the 6k course Saturday morning, none of that will matter. Texas will be competing in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., with a successful season behind it. But so will everyone else.

Currently ranked No. 19, Texas finished No. 26 in 2011 and No. 20 in 2010. In last year’s NCAA Championships, Sutherland finished in 96th place (20:59.4), Siebert in 126th place (21:13.9), Mojtabaeezamani in 153rd place (21:24.6) and Hall in 156th place (21:25.0). With hefty competition behind it, Texas meets teams from early this season.

“We have the No. 2 ranked team in our conference,” Sutherland said of Iowa State after the Big 12 Championships. “You have to compete against the best to be the best, so we really do have an advantage.”

The women’s race begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. The NCAA will broadcast the competition live on its website.