Collins, Rogers run season-best times at Big 12 Championships

Brooke Nevins

The cross country regular season continued for Texas at the Big 12 Championship meet Friday morning in Ames, Iowa, with the men’s team placing third with 70 points and the women finishing fifth with 113 points. The Longhorns are bringing home multiple All-Big 12 honors.

Destiny Collins, who has led the women in every meet this season, paced the Longhorns in the women’s 6k championship and finished fourth individually with a season-best time of 20:06.7 to earn All-Big 12 honors.

“I was really proud of the race that Destiny had to earn All-Big 12 honors with a strong fourth-place finish,” said PattiSue Plumer, women’s cross country coach.

Senior Alex Cruz also had a season-best time of 21:02.1, finishing second for the Longhorns and 17th overall.  By the end of the race, nine of the 10 women competing for Texas ran their fastest times of the season.

“Although a fifth-place team finish was not what we had hoped for, several women had strong races today,” Plumer said. “We just need a few other pieces to fall into place and we will be able to have a strong Regional meet to qualify for NCAA Championships and run our best race of the season in Madison in three weeks.”

On the men’s side, the Longhorns marked their seventh top three finish in the last eight conference championships. Senior Alex Rogers, Sam Worley, and redshirt junior John Rice each received All-Big 12 honors following the meet.

Rogers, who also earned All-Big 12 honors last season, led the Texas runners in the men’s 8k championship with a season-best time of 23:54.4 to finish seventh in the field. Worley also ran a season-best time to finish eighth overall.

“Alex and Sam led the way with nice efforts and maintained composure when they lost contact with the pack late in the race,” said Pete Watson, men’s cross country coach. “They lost to some very good runners who will be competing for All-America status in a couple of weeks, so their strong races were definitely a positive.”

Although the conference meet has concluded, Texas’ season continues on as both teams will be preparing for the NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Nov. 9 in College Station with the hopes of qualifying for the Nov. 17 NCAA National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin.

“That was a solid day,” Watson said. “The boys competed well as a team and we made another step forward as we prepare for the 10k at the Regional meet and NCAA Championships.”