Previews: Texas looks this weekend to maintain NCAA recognition in men’s tennis, track and field

Bradley Maddox and Michael Shapiro

Men's Tennis

Following a grueling three-match weekend at the ITA Indoor National Championships in Chicago, Illinois, No. 10 Texas will head back to Austin on Friday to face No. 8 North Carolina at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center. Both the Longhorns and Tar Heels participated in last weekend’s ITA National Indoor Championships, where the Longhorns went 2–1, including wins in their last two matches, and the Tar Heels went 1–2, losing their last two matches. 

Friday’s match will feature a battle of the brothers, as North Carolina’s Esben Hess-Olesen is coming to Austin. Esben is the twin brother of Longhorn’s senior Søren Hess-Olsen and will be facing Søren’s teammates for the fourth year in a row. The two players will not be playing each other directly this year — as was the case in 2013 when Esben bested Søren in a three-set victory — but both players will be integral in getting their teams back on track following the last weekend’s tournament. 

Beginning with Friday’s contest against North Carolina, the Longhorns will have a seven-match home stand spanning over a month before they head on the road to face Oklahoma State on March 27.

—Michael Shapiro

Track and Field

Head coach Mario Sategna will send his distance runners to Notre Dame’s campus this weekend for the Alex Wilson Invitational. The rest of the group will take the weekend to rest and then gear up for the Big 12 Indoor Championships next weekend in Iowa.

The only group headed to South Bend, Indiana, this week is the distance medley relay runners, who will represent the Longhorns in the Invitational. Typically, the Alex Wilson Invitational records many of the qualifying times for the NCAA Championships. Texas’ team of sophomores Chris Irvin and Robert Uhr, junior Brady Turnbull and senior Craig Lutz will look to solidify a spot at the championship meet in mid-March. The medley, currently ranked 16th in the country, must place inside the top 12 to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

The Longhorns enter the week as the No. 5 men’s team in the country and the No. 4 women’s team.

—Bradley Maddox