Men place third, women finish sixth at Big 12 Championships

Tyler Horka

After falling out of the national rankings two weeks ago, Texas cross country returned to competition in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at the Big 12 Championships on Saturday morning.

On the men’s side, the day once again belonged to Oklahoma State, which won its eighth consecutive Big 12 title. The Longhorn men came in third overall, improving upon last year’s fourth-place finish.

Senior Brady Turnbull led the way for Texas for the second straight meet. Turnbull’s time of 24:41.9 over the 8,000-meter course was good enough for a ninth-place finish.

Sophomore Jacob Pickle crossed the line next for the Longhorns in 12th place at 24:52.9, and all five scoring marks for Texas were within the top 25.

“Having three-fourths of the team being freshmen and sophomores and placing third speaks well for the future,” head coach Brad Herbster said.

The women fared less favorably than the men, finishing sixth overall.

The Oklahoma State women completed a sweep of the Big 12 Championships, beating four-time defending champion Iowa State by 18 points.

Junior Sandie Raines finished first among Texas runners. Her 21:42.0 mark on the 6,000-meter course earned her 23rd place.

Two other Longhorns, senior Connor Ward and junior Mary Beth Hamilton, finished the race in the top 30, as Texas failed again to run as a pack in the latter half of the race.

Despite recent struggles, Herbster said the team is still on track to earn a berth for the NCAA Championships, something the women’s team has not accomplished since 2012.

“If we can group it up and perform well at the regional meet, we can earn a spot at NCAAs,” Herbster said.

The South Central Regional Championship takes place Nov. 13 in College Station. During their last visit to College Station, both Longhorn teams swept the Texas A&M Invitational on Sept. 26 against a handful of regional opponents.