Longhorns fall one point short of Big 12 championship

Alexander Thompson

Texas fell short of making school history by one point.

Texas proved their competitive edge this weekend at the Big 12 Conference Championships held in Round Rock, Texas, but came just short of claiming the conference title. After a back-and-forth morning, the final race of the men’s competition came down to a one-point bout against No. 23 Iowa State. The Cyclones ultimately edged the Longhorns, 41-40.

After coming just one point short of the team’s first conference title, head coach Brad Herbster remained proud of his team, noting they should be proud of their accomplishment at Old Settlers Park.

“We weren’t really expected to win, except in our own locker room,” Herbster said. “To come out here and really challenge the win is what we wanted to do. We wanted to win.”

And even with Saturday’s second-place finish, the Longhorns still made history. The burnt orange defeated No. 10 Oklahoma State, a team which entered the Championships on the back of nine consecutive Big 12 titles.

The women’s side also showed a boost from the previous year’s performance. The Longhorns improved by four spots, finishing the afternoon in third place. Texas ended its day one point behind runner-up Oklahoma State, while Iowa State completed a sweep of the meet and won the women’s title.

The men saw all five runners become All-Conference runners after finishing among the top 13 finishers. Freshman Sam Worley finished third with a time of 24:12.4 in a tightly packed finish with Oklahoma State junior Luis Martinez, who clocked in at the same time. Drama stirred as the announcement of the winner of that tiebreaker was delayed, but Martinez was eventually awarded second place upon further review.

“This is a team that can do big things,” Worley said. “We knew in this race we had a shot, and we knew if we had executed the way we’ve been trained to do that we can win. It didn’t quite pan out today, but in the end of the day we stepped up, and this is the highest placing we’ve had in a long time.”

The women recorded five runners in the top 30, with two runners awarded All-Conference honors. Sophomore Destiny Collins placed seventh with a time of 20:23.0, and junior Alex Cruz finished 12th with a time of 20:42.7. 

“We fought really hard out there and live by our mantra: ready, aim, fire,” Collins said. “ I think we all knew we were capable of placing high today. I think we did a great job and will really have to use this momentum in regionals so we qualify for nationals.”

The NCAA South Central Regional Championships are set for Saturday, Nov. 11 in College Station, Texas. The two top teams from each regional meet will qualify for NCAA Championships, with 31 teams total being allowed to compete.