Longhorns take sixth at Notre Dame Invitational

Alexander Thompson

Texas ran this week at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, in one of the most competitive meets of the season. In the 5-mile Blue division, the men’s team finished with an impressive No. 6 place overall, while the women’s team finished No. 12.

“The men performed just outside of where we wanted to as a team,” head coach Brad Herbster said. “We have high goals for the season, and after today, I feel we sure have the squad to achieve those goals.”

Freshman Connor O’Neill led the Longhorns, ending his day at No. 13 overall with a time of 24:03.9. Separated by a trio of runners, junior Alex Rogers was just behind O’Neill at No. 16, finishing in 24:05.5. Freshman Sam Worley finished No. 33 for the Longhorns at 24:25.8.

The Longhorns made a statement in their first meet of the season, beating three ranked teams. Texas outlasted No. 11 Washington State, No. 29 Eastern Michigan and No. 30 North Carolina State. Herbster said the weekend’s meet proved his team can be competitors in meets, even against some of the best programs in the country.

“We were able to beat No. 11 Washington State and ranked NC State,” Herbster said. “We have some areas we need to tighten up, but for the first big meet of the year it was a solid start.”

While the men faced stiff competition in South Bend, the women squared off against an even tougher slate. The Longhorns battled seven ranked teams at Notre Dame, including four squads ranked in the nation’s top 10.

The women’s team finished No. 12 overall, with sophomore Destiny Collins leading Texas over No. 12 Notre Dame with a time of 17:04.2, good for No. 33 overall. Fellow sophomore Abby Guidry was next for Texas, finishing at No. 45 at 17:13.7.

“Destiny took about 35 seconds off her time from this meet last year, but she has a lot more in her,” Herbster said. “Abby Guidry stepped up. We were off our goal as a team, but if someone is not feeling well that day, we have people that can step up, and today that was Jordan Welborn moving up to be our No. 5 spot.”

Texas will head home for the next two weeks before the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky. There, competition will begin on Oct. 14. Two weeks later, the Longhorns will host the Big 12 Championship in Round Rock.