AMES, Iowa - The University of Texas women's cross country team posted its highest finish since 2002, placing fourth with 117 points and four top-30 finishers at the 2008 Big 12 Cross Country Championships held at the Iowa State University Cross Country Course on Saturday, Nov. 1.
In a year fraught with injuries, the Longhorn produced perhaps the largest upset of the day. From 2005-2007, the Lady Longhorns had never placed better than 9th place at this meet. Though the team was making huge gains behind the consistent improvement of Betzy Jimenez, Larkin Geyer and Lauren "Steak" Salisbury. A solid recruiting class in 2008, allowed two new freshman to make a big impact at the Big 12 meet. Laleh Mojtabaeezamani was the highest placing freshman in the entire meet, while her roommate, Mia Behm was a solid 37th place in the team score.
This year the team set the goal of being in the Top 5 at Big 12. The Lady Horns placed 1st two meets but they have also had some injuries that shook their confidence. Going into the Big 12 Conference meet they had a rough race at Arkansas' Chile Pepper Festival. Their team goal remained a top 5 placing. In the end, on an extremely challenging course, they were 15 places from 3rd place.
The Longhorn's travel on Saurday, November 15th to Waco for the Regional meet. I encourage all runners, Rogue & others drive up and check out the regional meet. Help Coach Sisson and the Longhorn's make it to NCAA's. The women's 6K race starts at 10 a.m. Central on the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
More meet details:
Texas Tech won its first team Championship with 44 points, snapping Colorado's nine-year winning streak. Baylor placed second with 71 points followed by Nebraska with 102 points. Tech's Sally Kipyego took individualist honors by finishing in 19:45.00 and became the first harrier in Big 12 history to win three consecutive titles.
Junior Betzy Jimenez led the Horns, clocking in at 21:27.10, for 10th place and a spot on the All-Big 12 Team. Jimenez took nine seconds off her time from the 2007 Championship to become the first Longhorn to garner All-Big 12 honors since 2003 and the sixth overall to place in the top 10.
Senior Larkin Geyer completed the 6K course in a career-best time of 21:48.55 for 17th place. Geyer shaved 21 seconds off her time from a year ago to collect her fourth top-20 effort of the year.
Freshman Laleh Mojtabaeezamani was the highest finishing freshman of the meet coming in 25th with her time of 21:59.45. Junior Lauren Salisbury crossed the finish line just three seconds after Mojtabaeezamani in 22:03.65 for 28th place.
Freshman Mia Behm rounded out UT's scoring with a 37th-place showing (22:16.35).
The Longhorns earned their fourth lowest point total in Big 12 history, and collected under 120 points for the first time since a 109-point effort in 2002.