Big 12 Cross Country Championship men’s preview

Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 29 flipbook.

Ranked the highest it’s been since 2013, No. 14 Texas men’s cross country will return to The Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Friday to compete in this year’s Big 12 Cross Country Championships. 

The men’s 8k championship race starts at 10 a.m.

Assistant coach Pete Watson said juniors Haftu Knight and Yaseen Abdalla are Longhorns to look out for.

“We raised two of the best guys in the conference,” Watson said. “I’d expect, you know, hopefully they’re both top five in the race on Friday.”

This season, Knight has been the first Longhorn to cross the finish line at both the FSU Invitational and the Cowboy Jamboree, which was held on the same course as the upcoming conference championship meet.

Abdalla has also performed well up to this point. After getting his first collegiate win at the Tornado Watch Invitational, Abdalla finished as the second Longhorn in both the FSU Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree.

Two top-five teams, No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Iowa State, will be competing as well. Familiarity with the course should give the Texas men’s team some confidence heading into the conference championship.

“I think we lined up pretty well, so it’s going to be a tough battle,” Watson said. “Obviously, there (are) three good teams. We don’t want to be third.”

However important, conference is just the first step in making it to a national championship. 

“We just want to make sure when there’s pressure put on the guys in certain race situations, they’re able to respond, keep their composure and excel,” Watson said.   

The Big 12 Cross Country Championship will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ at 9 a.m.