Weekend recaps: Cross country, rowing, soccer

Daniel Clay

Cross country

At the Big 12 Championship in Lawrence, Kansas, over the weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams finished fourth and seventh, respectively. 

All-American senior Craig Lutz led the men with a third-place finish, but defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State pulled ahead for its seventh championship.

“On the men’s side, it’s mixed emotions,” assistant coach Brad Herbster said. “It’s good to see some people set up a position to be in the mix. It’s a disappointing race to know that we gave away 30 points in the last [kilometer]. We were in the mix with the other teams. We were just a little flat at the end.”

The women ran their best race of the year, with sophomore Sandie Raines and redshirt freshman Katie Ruhala finishing consecutively in 23rd and 24th, respectively.

The 3-4-5 spots finished eight places apart.

“I thought, overall, the group performed the best we’ve performed all year, which is what you’re looking for at the Big 12 Championship,” Herbster said. “It’s still not exactly where we need to be. We need to make sure we’re still moving up in those 3-4-5 spots. It is encouraging to start the championship season off with our best performance of the year — but still a ways to go.”

Two automatic championship berths will be on the line at the NCAA Regional in two weeks. As championship at-large bids are rare, each team will vie for first and second place.

Women's rowing

The women’s rowing team left behind the tranquil Austin weather this weekend to compete at the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but 40-degree temperatures and 30-mph winds caused Saturday’s races to be canceled.

Originally, only the morning races were canceled, but as conditions worsened, race officials were forced to call off all races for the remainder of the day. 

Sunday’s races continued as planned, and the Longhorns competed in three events.

Senior Casey Redman began the day by placing fourth in the women’s championship 1x with a time of 20:50.1, one second behind the third-place finisher from the University of Tampa. This was the closest the Longhorns came to cracking the top three.

In the women’s open 2-, Texas’ boats placed fourth, sixth, 10th and 16th, with each boat finishing ahead of Big 12 rival Oklahoma.

In the women’s 8+, Texas’ B boat came in sixth place at 16:33.6, immediately followed by Texas’ A boat in seventh at 16:34.5. Both Longhorn boats placed ahead of the three Kansas boats. 

The Head of the Hooch marks the Longhorns’ last competition for the fall. The next regatta will be in March at the San Diego Crew Classic in San Diego, California.

Women's soccer

Texas soccer entered its regular season finale at home riding a high following a pair of road conference wins the previous weekend, but the Oklahoma State Cowgirls used some good Halloween luck and timely offense to send Texas back to the loser’s column for the first time in three games.

The first goal of the game came off a Cowgirl cross from the left sideline that sailed into the Texas box and deflected off a Longhorn defender for an own goal. Texas equalized later in the half when junior midfielder Lindsey Meyer snuck a penalty kick past a diving Cowgirl goalkeeper.

The Longhorns had a chance to take a lead late in the contest when Meyer smashed a header off the crossbar in the 87th minute, but the Cowgirls cleared the shot away to end the Longhorn threat. The game looked destined for overtime until Cowgirl sophomore forward Courtney Dike managed to find the back of the Longhorn net from short range to give Oklahoma State a 2-1 lead with just over a minute and a half to play.

“Oklahoma State’s a great team, and they put away their opportunities,” senior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle said. “We just need to learn to capitalize and make the most out of our chances.”

Texas’ next action will come Wednesday at 2 p.m. against No. 10 Texas Tech in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship.