Texas men’s cross country runs to third place finish at Big 12 Championship

Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporter

Junior Cruz Gomez was the first Longhorn to cross the finish line at this year’s Big 12 Championship in the men’s 8K. Gomez ran a time of 24:30.5, clinching 11th place.

No. 14 Texas had five runners finish in the top 20 at this year’s Big 12 Championship. The men’s cross-country team finished in third place for the fourth year in a row with 77 total points.

After falling 13 spots to 32nd place at the 2000-meter mark, Gomez was able to move up 12 spots by the 3000-meter mark. He continued to run efficiently throughout the remainder of the race.

Earlier this year, Gomez was the fourth Longhorn to finish in the Cowboy Jamboree and the seventh Longhorn to finish at the FSU Invitational.

Just behind him in 13th place was junior Haftu Knight with a time of 24:32.7.

Going into the meet, Pete Watson, Texas men’s cross-country assistant coach, said that Knight was a guy to look out for. He was the first Longhorn to cross the finish line in both the Cowboy Jamboree and the FSU Invitational earlier this season.

At the 5000-meter mark, Knight was in his best spot of the race at 4th place. In the last 3000-meters however, he progressively fell nine spots. Knight still had an impressive performance, nonetheless.

Gomez and Knight were also selected to the 2021 men’s cross-country All-Big 12 Team following the race.

The third Longhorn to finish the race was sophomore Rodger Rivera in 16th, earning a time of 24:45.3.

Junior Crayton Carrozza finished the race in 19th at a time of 24:53.1.  Just behind him, Junior Yaseen Abdalla, who previously won the first race of the season, came in 20th at 24:55.5.

Behind the top 20 were sophomores Yusuf Bizimana in 26th, Sam Bass in 28th and Abraham Avila-Martinez in 31st.

Freshmen Isaac Alonzo and Cole Lindhorst came in 33rd and 42nd respectively.

Next up for Texas men’s cross-country is the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 12, followed by the NCAA Cross-Country Championship on Nov. 20.