AUSTIN, Texas – It was all Longhorns at the Texas Invitational on Friday night as the Texas Cross Country team swept the men’s and women’s races each with perfect scores. Texas saw Sandie Raines cross first for the women and Alex Rogers for the men and the Longhorns dominated from start to finish.

Texas tallied perfect scores of 15 points with the top five finishers all being Longhorns on each side. UT Rio Grande Valley finished second on both sides as well. Other teams competing on Friday were UTSA, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.

“We really want to surprise some people this year. We have high expectations for the year and this was just one step towards the championship point of the season,” said Cross Country Coach Brad Herbster. “It’s great to see the group out there working hard together. There were a lot of people out there doing a lot of good things and it was fun.” 

Raines led the Longhorns out of the gates as a tight group pulled away immediately. She and sophomore Meghan Lloyd would eventually pull ahead to be the first two finishers. Raines posted a time of 10:25.11 over the 3,000 meters. Lloyd crossed in 10:26.90. Abby Guidry, Mary Beth Hamilton, Jordan Welborn and Alex Cruz made it a clean 1-6 for Texas.

“This was a real confidence booster for other people who haven’t raced in a while or some freshmen who this is only their second race,” Raines said. “We take this race as a confidence booster to tell us that we are in shape. We are working together and that in the big races to remember that and help us stay together in bigger competition.”

On the men’s side, it was the same story. The Longhorns burst to a big early leady in a tight pack in their solid white uniforms. Rogers left the pack behind on the final 1K loop to finish in 15:05.55 over the whole 5,000 meters.

Freshman Spencer Dodds was second behind Rogers in 15:15.36. Connor Hendrickson and Robert Uhr went 3-4. Texas freshman Garek Bielaczyc ran unattached and finished fifth with graduate transfer Allen Sumrall finishing sixth to give Texas the perfect for of 15 points. 

We wanted one through five to finish up before any other team. We knew that Texas was going to come bring the fight,” Rogers said. “We’re getting ready to make a statement. It was really hot outside; but if you put us on a cold course, we’ll be ready to rock and roll. But it’s a great starting point.” 

The weather conditions were no ideal as the heat index was 100 degrees at the start of the women’s race at 6 p.m. Despite the hot and humid conditions, Texas executed its race plan and helped set the tone for its next competition in two weeks when the Longhorns will face a number of ranked teams at the Notre Dame Invitational.

“We really wanted them to treat today like it is Notre Dame in two weeks. So we know it’s going to get out fast. We’re trying to execute race plan just like we will have to in two weeks,” Herbster said of Friday’s race. “Our focus today was just making sure your first loop is your second-fastest loop. Fastest loop should be your last one, because it’s all equal in terms of distance. Making sure we’re, one, working as a group and two, being consistent in the laps.” 

Texas will focus on training next week and head to the Notre Dame Invitational on September 30. The Fighting Irish women are currently ranked No. 15 in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll. Texas is receiving votes in both the men’s and women’s polls.


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