Texas men’s, women’s cross country teams finish second in NCAA Regional Championships

Brock Bolinger, General Sports Reporter

Texas men’s and women’s cross country teams secured automatic bids to the NCAA Championships after both finished second in the NCAA South Central Regionals on Friday in College Station.

Arkansas swept the region, finishing ahead of both the men’s and women’s teams.

Led by a second-place finish from All-Conference sophomore Isaac Alonzo and a top-five finish from All-Conference senior Haftu Knight, the Texas men’s team finished with 55 points in the 10K, just six points shy of first place. 

Alonzo finished with a personal best by over two minutes at a time of 30:20.8. Knight, who won the South Central region of the NCAA Regional Championships last year, finished with a time of 30:32.0.

The remaining three of the Longhorns’ five All-Conference athletes — junior Rodger Rivera, junior Abraham Avila-Martinez and freshman Emmanuel Sgouros — finished in 12th, 13th and 23rd, respectively. Other Longhorns competing in the 10K included senior Cruz Gomez and freshman Hudson Heikkinen, who both finished in the top 40.

The women’s team finished with 102 points in the 6K, 53 points behind first-place Arkansas. 

The women’s team was bolstered by personal bests from graduate students Beth Ramos and Isabel Hebner, who both earned All-Conference honors with their top 10 finishes. Ramos finished in seventh with a time of 20:36.1 and Hebner finished in 10th with a time of 20:49.6 in her first cross country race of the season. 

Other Longhorns who competed in the 6K included graduate student Monica Hebner, sophomore Eva Jess, graduate student Valery Tobias, senior Alyssa Duhart and junior Kelsie Vicknair who finished 26th, 28th, 31st, 73rd and 105th, respectively.

Both the men’s team and the women’s team secured automatic bids to the upcoming NCAA Championships by finishing in the top two of their region. This will mark the sixth straight NCAA Championship appearance by the men’s team and the first time that the women’s team has advanced to the NCAA Championship since 2019.

The NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 18 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In their last NCAA Championship appearance, the men’s team finished in 14th place in 2021 and the women’s team finished in 30th place in 2019.