The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.10.24

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Big’s Backyard Ultra. Via OutsideOnline, this is a race of never giving up:

Late on Monday evening, Maggie Guterl became the first woman to win the Big Dog Backyard Ultra, a race many consider to be among the hardest in the world. It took her 60 hours to cover 250 miles.

The race, put on by Barkley Marathons creator Gary Cantrell, is deceptively, painfully simple. Participants have 60 minutes to run a four-mile trail loop through the woods on Lake’s farm in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. At the top of each hour, anyone who is still able lines back up at the start line and does it again, until there’s only one person left. In 2018, the race went on for almost three days and 283 miles.

“It’s like a contest for getting punched in the face,” Cantrell said in an interview with Outside last spring. “Who will stand up and get punched in the face the most times? Because, after a while, it starts to hurt.” The race started in 2007, but Cantrell, himself a lifelong runner, conceived of it more than four decades ago, while he was in high school. He designed it to isolate pure competitiveness and mental grit: you don’t have to be fast to succeed. You just have to keep going.

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Not Quite a Contender. Via NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster, Texas Tech is just outside of being a National Championship contender:

Of the 11 players that Texas Tech has eligible for this season, eight of them are freshmen or sophomores. Of the upperclassmen, two are grad transfers, neither of whom played last season. One of the two grad transfers played for Stephen F. Austin in the Southland last year. The most important player on the roster is Jahmius Ramsey, a top 35 recruit that is the most highly-touted player to enter Chris Beard’s program since he’s been in Lubbock. He has to fill the Jarrett Culver-Keenan Evans role offensively, but there have been rumblings that Ramsey’s ego hasn’t exactly meshed with the Red Raider ethos early on.

If Tech is going to live up to the expectations that the last two seasons have set, so much is going to come down to whether or not someone like Chris Clarke or Davide Moretti can set a tone and keep the program’s culture at the level it was the last two years.

Big 12 Preview. CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone has a Big 12 preview and the staff there predicts Texas Tech will finish second to Kansas and that freshman Jahmius Ramsey is the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year:

Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech: If there was ever a doubt about Chris Beard’s ability to identify talent, well … who am I kidding? Beard’s been one of the best in the Big 12 at scooping up underrated players and transforming them into NBA players. Now we’re about to see what he can do with a top-40 prospect in Ramsey who will be called upon to produce in a big day from the moment the season starts.

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