Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Women’s cross country seeks first Big 12 title on Saturday

Skyler Sharp
Graduate student Beth Ramos runs towards the finish line at the Cowboy Jamboree on Sep. 23, 2023. Ramos took 5th place with a time of 21:14, leading the Longhorns to place second as a team.

Texas women’s cross country heads to Ames, Iowa on Saturday for the Big 12 Championships, looking to win their first ever conference title. The annual event is in its 27th season taking place at Iowa State, who has won eight meets in the last 12 years — a dominant figure that Texas aims to spoil.

Last year, Texas placed fourth in the Big 12 Championships, its highest placement in the event since 2020, when its second place finish behind Iowa State was the closest it had ever been to taking the conference crown.

With the November NCAA South Central Regionals looming, a victory over the esteemed Iowa State this weekend would surely look appealing in the eyes of the DI Cross Country Subcommittee – who selects 13 at-large teams to go on to the NCAA championships.

Ramping up at the 6,000 kilometer Nuttycombe Invitational earlier this month, freshman distance runner Haley Harper set a 37-second personal best. That same meet, junior distance runner Eva Jess was the second finisher for the Longhorns for a second straight time. 

As individual milestones build, team success has belonged at the forefront ever since head coach Edrick Floréal took the reins in 2018. He and his staff place a particular emphasis on building a common mindset.

“(The team chemistry) is the thing we have emphasized and been working on,” Floréal said to the media in a February availability. “Being one team, just united. One common purpose — to go out there and win a championship, and so far they are 110% committed to doing their very best for Texas.”

That summer, his track and field women fulfilled their common goal, but Texas cross country aims to take the summer heat into the fall. 

The women’s last NCAA championship was in 1986 – when Floréal himself was still seeking championships as a 20-year-old student-athlete for Arkansas.

Iowa State’s Ashton Cross Country Course, first run with co-ed parameters in 2003, is the Hawkeyes’ home of both training and competing — giving them an advantage that is rare in the sport. It can accommodate up to 10,000 meters, though the championships will follow a 6 kilometer format.

The large grass terrain includes a 2,000 meter perimeter which allows ample opportunity for spectating the event from start to finish.

The women will begin their race at 11 a.m. Saturday, an hour after the men’s. It will be broadcast on ESPN+ with a recap and results available on at the conclusion of the event.

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