Texas cross country finishes second, third at Big 12 Championship

Beth Ramos finished in sixth place to help lead the Texas women's cross country to third place in the Big 12 Championship (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

The Texas women's cross country team finished second in the 2020 Big 12 Championship with 62 points and the UT men placed third Friday in Lawrence, Kansas.

The women were led by junior Beth Ramos, who completed the 6K course in 21:11.5, good enough for a sixth-place finish. Her result earned Ramos All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season. Ava Peeples crossed the line 12th, with Claudine Blancafor just a hair behind her in 13th and Gracie Morris 15th. All three earned All-Big 12 recognition. The top 15 runners were named All-Conference.

Head coach PattieSue Plumer was impressed by her squad's resilience on an unfavorable course.

“I was very proud of this team today,” Plumer said. “It was a rough course and they gave it their all, and then some. I’m also proud of how much they sacrificed to get here, doing all the things necessary to stay safe and protect their teammates. A special shoutout to Beth Ramos, who had a fantastic race, but our entire team was 'Texas tough' today.”

Iowa State won the women's race with 39 points; in cross country, the team with the lowest point total (the collective points alloted to each place finish) wins the race. Iowa State was led by Callie Logue, who placed first at the meet for the third straight season, etching her name into the conference record books. It was just the second time in Big 12 history that an athlete won the individual title three straight times.

On the men's side, Texas held its own with a very young squad, anchored by Haftu Knight. After winning the Oct. 18 Arturo Barrios Invitational, Knight sprinted his way through the 8K course, to cross the line fourth, only .9 seconds behind Iowa State's Festus Lagat, who placed third, and only a tenth of a second ahead of the fifth-place Victor Shitsama of Oklahoma State.

“Haftu Knight was very good today. That was a big run for him against some of the very best guys in the country,” Texas men’s distance coach Pete Watson said. “We ended up third with a very young team. Their lack of experience really showed when the race really got going after 4,000 meters. This experience was an eye-opener for the guys and they will be ready as we move forward into our indoor season.”

Knight was the only Longhorn on the men's side to be named All-Big 12, as Graydon Morris, Texas' next finisher, placed 17th.

For the first time in Big 12 history, the meet ended in a tie between Oklahoma State and Iowa State on the men's side, each of which totaled 31 points. OSU was declared conference champion for the 10th time in program history as three of their top five finishers placed ahead of the Cyclones.

A replay of the event is available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *