Men’s cross country advances to NCAA Championships, women’s falls just short

Emily Schumacher, Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporters

Men’s

The No. 14 Texas men’s cross country team competed in its first 10k this season at the NCAA South Central Regional race held at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco, Texas.

Junior Haftu Knight won the race with a time of 30:10.4 and led Texas to a first place finish at the event with 35 points. Three other Texas runners finished in the top 10.

Nothing but the best was expected out of Knight at the South Central Regional. Coming out of the Big 12 Championship, Knight earned All-Big 12 Team honors placing in 13th place.

The men’s team also secured an automatic bid to the national championship by placing in one of the top two positions.

The total amount of time ran by the Longhorns was 2:32:56 with an average time of 30:36. The spread for Texas was 1:25.8.

Sophomore Rodger Rivera finished the race in third place at a time of 30:17.9. He jumped to second place 7 kilometers into the race but was unable to maintain the position, losing it to Texas State runner Kwanele Mthembu.

Junior Yaseen Abdalla finished in fourth place at 30:18.6 into the race. Junior Cruz Gomez crossed the finish line at 30:32.4 in ninth place.

Other Longhorns that finished the race include sophome Sam Bass in 19th, freshman Isaac Alonzo in 22nd and sophomore Abraham Avila-Martinez in 54th.

Up next for the No. 14 Texas men’s team is the NCAA Cross Country Championship on Nov. 20, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Women’s

Senior Beth Ramos picked up a top 10 finish for the Longhorn women in the NCAA Regionals 6k on Friday. Her efforts have created a streak of continually finishing first on the team at every race she’s competed in this season.

Coming in third place overall with a score of 101 points, the Texas women’s cross country fell five points short of an automatic team qualification for the NCAA Championships. Only the top two teams receive automatic qualification for nationals.

Senior Isabel Hebner separated from the usual order as she finished second on the team and 18th overall. She clocked in with a time of 21:21.5.

Grabbing the final top 25 spot was freshman Eva Jess with a time of 21.38.0. Following closely behind were juniors Alexa Rodriguez and Ava Peeples with personal records of 21:40.4 and 21:41.4, respectively.

An at-large qualification process that takes into account today’s race and the overall 2021 season will decide what other runners/teams will compete at championships on Nov. 20. The decision will be announced Sunday.