Texas men and women earn season-opening wins

Claire Cruz

Texas made a statement in its first competition of the season at the SFA Lumberjack Pre-Conference Meet on Friday.  

Each group earned team wins with sophomores Pedro Nasta and Alex Cruz leading the way for the men and women, respectively, with first-place finishes. Six Longhorn men and four women finished their races in the top 10.

“Both teams opened up with some positive things,” cross country coach Brad Herbster said. “With individual and team wins, both groups were able to pack it up well.”

The meet took place on a two-kilometer loop track at Pecan Acres Park in Nacogdoches, Texas. The women kicked off the competition with a two-mile run, and the men’s three-mile race followed. 

Young talent filled Texas’ roster. Seven of the fourteen Longhorns who competed are freshmen — five for the women and two for the men. But if there were any first-race jitters, the athletes didn’t show it once the gun fired. 

Redshirt freshman Jordan Welborn led the young Texas women to a No. 5 finish and freshmen Spencer Dodds and John Rice crossed second and fourth, respectively, on the men’s side. 

“Jordan competed well, and the freshmen helped close out the team victory for the women,” Herbster said. “The men grouped it up early and controlled the race from the gun. Having two freshmen and two sophomores in the top four speaks volumes for the future.” 

Texas will host its next competition, the Texas Invitational, on Sept. 16 at the Hancock Golf Course. Both teams will look to build on the momentum gained from their impressive first outings.

“This first race is always an icebreaker for us,” Herbster said. “We’re kind of wiping the rust off and seeing what they can do. I’m thrilled for the season. Making a statement with these guys will be a fun challenge.”