SAN ANTONIO, Texas – It was a Texas sweep on Friday night as the Longhorn men’s and women’s cross country teams came away victorious at the UTSA Ricardo Romo Classic. It was a pair of newcomers that led the way for the Longhorns with redshirt freshman Robert Uhr winning for the men and Arkansas transfer Sandie Raines winning the women’s race.
Raines bested the field to win the women’s 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:31.2 in her debut as a Longhorn. She held off the runner-up by just under five seconds. The women’s squad scored only 23 points in their victory with all five of their scoring finishers placing seventh or better.
Uhr got the win 15:29.1 over 5,000 meters as the Longhorns finished 1-2-3 to dominate the race, scoring only 25 points. Freshmen Jacob Pickle and Zach Hamstra followed Uhr to give Texas a trio of freshmen atop the results.
“It was a good effort from Sandie with the win in her first race for us, and Robert Uhr really stepped up to get the win for the men as well,” said cross country coach Brad Herbster. “It was really a nice showing from some of our freshmen. They really worked together out there.
“In races like this we concentrate on working as a group. Whether there are 50 people running or 500, you have to work as a group. To go out and beat a bunch of upperclassmen speaks well to the strong youth we have on both sides. They are going to be relied upon in the very near future, and for them to step up and prove they can be relied on was great.”
On the women’s side, Texas ran six underclassmen in its group of seven. Two sophomores and four freshmen helped dominate the race and get the victory. Samantha Young finished fourth with Mary Beth Hamilton behind her in fifth. Kendra Melendez took sixth with Marissa Pekarek in seventh. Pekarek represented the only upperclassmen in the race this week as a junior.
This week’s race was about finding a rhythm as a group and keeping on task, Herbster said. With next week serving as the first week the top programs in the nation will go head-to-head at various meets, building that foundation at the Romo Classic was essential to building team chemistry to take advantage of when the Longhorns face stronger competition over the remainder of the season.
“We really controlled the race with confidence. The men and women both got out front and took control of the race early, which was nice to see,” Herbster said. “Now we get into what I call the regular season next week. All the races from here on are important and we have got to continue to perform well like we did today.”
Texas heads to the Roy Griak Invitational next week hosted by Minnesota. Four men’s teams currently ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 30 Coaches Poll and six on the women’s side are set to compete at one of the top meets of the week to begin the charge toward championship season in November.
UTSA Ricardo Romo Classic
1: Sandie Raines, 18:31.2
4: Samantha Young, 19:10.5
5: Mary Beth Hamilton, 19:20.1
6: Kendra Melendez, 19:38.2
7: Marissa Pekarek, 19:42.6
19: Catherine Romanick, 24:24.0
1: Texas, 23
2: UTSA, 35
3: Prairie View A&M, 66
1: Robert Uhr, 15:29.1
2: Jacob Pickle, 15:32.3
3: Zach Hamstra, 15:43.0
7: Stephen Villalpando, 16:12.5
12: Nick Costanza, 16:51.4
15: David Anamosa, 17:21.0
16: Derrell Manhertz, 17:22.2
1: Texas, 25
2: UTSA, 36
3: Prairie View A&M, 71