Cross country ends season with top-3 finishes at Big 12 Championships

Taylor Hawthorne

The Texas cross country program wrapped up its season with top-three finishes from both the men’s and women’s teams at the Big 12 Championships in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Coming off first-place finishes at the Arturo Barrios Invitational two weeks prior, the Longhorns were looking to repeat their success at Rim Rock Farm.

The women’s team finished second for the second year in a row with a final team score of 62 and average time of 21:27.8. Texas also had four individual top-15 finishes.

“I was very proud of this team,” women’s distance coach PattiSue Plumer said. “It was a rough course, and they gave it their all and then some.”

Iowa State took first place, outscoring Texas by about 20 points. West Virginia placed third, just four points behind Texas. 

The Longhorns’ top finisher was junior Beth Ramos, who placed sixth with a time of 21:11.5.  Sophomore Ava Peeples secured Texas’ second top-15 finish, placing 12th.

“A special shoutout to Beth Ramos, who had a fantastic race, but our entire team was Texas tough today,” Plumer said. 

Four runners earned All-Big 12 honors: senior Claudine Blancaflor, Ramos, Peeples and freshman Gracie Morris.

 



The men’s team placed third with a team score of 84 behind Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Texas averaged a time of 24:04.0 and had six runners finish in the top 25.

There were three teams ranked in the USTFCCCA national rankings in the men’s race, including Texas at No. 24. Oklahoma State ranked at No. 5 and Iowa State at No. 10.

All but one of the six top-25 finishers were underclassmen, and their lack of experience showed going into the 4000-meter split, men's distance coach Pete Watson said. However, Texas has ample talent coming back with more experience under their belts next season.

“We ended up third with a very young team,” Watson said. “This experience was an eye-opener for the guys.” 

Sophomore Haftu Knight finished fourth with a time of 23:27.0. He was the only Longhorn on the men’s team to crack the top 15 and earn All-Big 12 honors. Knight was awarded All-Big 12 honors for the second year in a row for his top-five finish. 

Knight remained relatively consistent throughout the race, only dropping a couple of spots at the 4000-meter mark, but ran back up to fourth place by the finish of the race.

“Haftu Knight was very good today,” Watson said. “That was a big run for him against some of the very best guys in the country.” 

Now done with their pandemic-shortened season, the Longhorns will carry their top-three finishes into next season.