Oct. 24, 2012
FORT WORTH – The 2012 cross country season is Tricia Terry’s fourth at TCU. There have been many great successes, not just for herself, but also for the women’s cross country team. However, as the meets wind down there are still new opportunities around each corner. This weekend at TCU’s first Big 12 Championships, not just in cross country, but across all sports, is one of them.
“For those of us who have been around longer, it is tough to explain how exciting it is,” Terry said. “For the older runners like Katie (Dalton), Agnes (Kemboi) and myself it is refreshing.”
Conference competition is important for all teams across all sports. However, competition was more of a challenge for TCU as past conference championships were held at altitude. The thin air caused problems for the Horned Frogs and, on paper, underachieve compared to the rest of the season.
“It is a relief,” Terry said. “Another positive is being able to stay in Texas. We are able to drive over the day before instead of flying. It feels like everything is working out for the better.”
Another major storyline for the TCU women going into Saturday’s meet is the youth of the squad. The Horned Frogs will have seven women competing, four of whom are freshmen. Terry knows the youthful squad will have good energy at Big 12s.
“Because such a huge portion of the women’s team is freshmen, they really don’t know anything else,” Terry said. “I think that is a good thing, because they are coming in strong and ready. They are going to be excited no matter what.”
The competition will also be familiar. With TCU being more centrally located within the Big 12, that has allowed for the Horned Frogs to compete against teams that they are already familiar with. Terry believes there will be benefits to that come this weekend.
“In our old conference you had not raced those teams all season,” Terry said. “You didn’t know what to expect. These teams, you know where they are going to be. We saw these teams at Arkansas and Baylor. That will allow us to put up a better fight.”
Terry has had a good season herself. She has been among TCU’s top-three runners at all four regular season meets. The senior led the Horned Frogs at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas two weeks ago with a 22nd-place effort.
“I think we found a racing strategy that is effective for her,” cross country head coach Liz Wort said. “I think she is more confident than she has been in her cross country career. She is obviously very talented and has the ability to score good points for us.”
Terry will not be thinking about herself on Saturday, though. The event is about the team, and she wants to help out wherever she can.
“The team is what I am thinking most about,” Terry noted. “Coach (Wort) says we can be anywhere from fourth to eighth. We definitely want to be fourth. It is a matter of everybody having a good day on the same day.”
“I have not thought about my own outcome goals because I generally don’t do to well,” Terry continued. “It sounds cliché, but I want to do the best that I can. I want to place as high as I can, but I am not thinking about a particular number.”
The Big 12 Championships are Saturday in Austin at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course. The women's 6K event starts at 10 a.m. with the men's 8K beginning at 11 a.m.