Led by Abdalla, Knight, Texas cross country finishes season with solid showing at NCAA championships

Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporter

The No. 13 Texas men’s cross country team finished in 14th place at the 2021 NCAA Division I cross country championships, marking the second-straight 10k of the season for the men’s team.

At Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida, junior Yaseen Abdalla led the Longhorns, crossing the finish line first in 32nd place with a personal best time of 29:28.1. Abdalla had a strong showing after starting in 79th place at the 1,170-meter mark. His most impressive move came when he moved 39 spots to 40th at the 2,000-meter mark.

The next Longhorn to finish was junior Haftu Knight, the defending regional champion. Texas finished first in the NCAA South Central regional and defended its  2019 title in large part due to Knight’s performance. At the championships, he finished with a time of 29:47.8. Knight improved his position steadily throughout the race until the 6,000-meter mark, where he dropped 12 spots from 64th to 76th place.

In 83rd place, sophomore Rodger Rivera crossed the finish line in 30:03.7. After holding the 53rd position following the 2,000-meter mark, Rivera began to progressively fall in the positioning until the race’s conclusion.

Junior Cruz Gomez finished the race in 109th place in a time of 30:13.9. Having the 136th position in the race passing the 5,000-meter mark, Cruz slowly moved up for the remainder of the race.

Crossing the finish line next for the Longhorns was sophomore Abraham Avila-Martinez in 172nd place with a time of 30:49.4. Avila-Martinez’s most notable jump came at the 6,000-meter mark when he moved up 20 positions, only to fall twelve spots in the last 2,000-meters.

The first five finishing positions for every team at the event were compiled together to calculate each teams’ 10,000-meter results. The Texas men’s team finished with a total of 393.

Junior Crayton Carrozza finished the race in 205th place at 31:14.7. Freshman Cole Lindhorst finished the race in 242nd place at 32:42.2.

As for the Texas women’s team, senior Beth Ramos was the only Longhorn representing the burnt orange at her second Cross Country Championship of her career.

She earned her spot after finishing in seventh place at the South Regional Championship. She was also selected for the USTFCCCA All-Region team.

Ramos finished the women’s 6k in 149th place with a season-best time of 20:48.4. After being in 189th place at the 1,170-meter mark, Ramos stepped on the gas and increased 18 spots to 171st place by the 2,000-meter mark, gradually increasing her position for the rest of the race.

The completion of the NCAA Cross Country Championships marks an end to this cross country season for the Longhorns.