LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech cross country is set to run at home Saturday at the TTU Open. The meet will be Tech's second of the fall and lone home meet of the season. The meet will include 15 teams.
"We're excited about the home meet," said head coach Jon Murray. "It's a big meet of mostly regional schools, but there are a lot of solid individuals and good teams in there that will give us some competition and allow us to see where we are right now."
The Tech group racing at home will be highlighted by an experienced women's group coming off a breakout outdoor track season. This will be led by Nokuthula Dlamini and Seselia Dala – both of whom scored at the Big 12 Championships. Dlamini did so in both the 5000m and steeplechase. Dala picked up points in the 10,000m.
Dala will return to the course after a strong cross campaign last season. The Amarillo, Texas, native ran in six races and picked up personal records in both the 5k and 6k. Her 6k PR came at the Big 12 Championships, where she was Tech's top finisher at 34th, which qualified her for a spot at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. It will be Dlamini's first time back on the course since 2017.
"We have a lot of returning athletes on the women's team, so I'm excited," Dala said. "Overall as a team, I think we're a lot more solid and closer. We have big goals and I'm excited."
The men's side will be led by another Red Raider who enjoyed a strong outdoor track campaign in 2019: Cornelius Kiprotich. The Kenyan junior was Tech's top option in both the 5000m and steeplechase last season, PR'ing in both during the spring and even scoring in the latter at the Big 12 Championships. The TTU Open will be the opening meet of what is hopefully his first full cross country season at Tech, as he raced just twice last fall.
"It's very exciting to run on the home course," Kiprotich said. "Although we have a bunch of freshmen and a few returners, we're motivated and excited."
The TTU Open will begin with the men's race at 8:30 a.m. at the Lubbock Christian University golf course. The women will begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free.