TERRA HAUTE, Ind. – The No. 2 University of Colorado men’s cross country team more than proved their ranking Saturday morning as the Buffs handily defeated No. 4 Oregon and the rest of the field at the 2013 NCAA Pre-National Invitational at the La Vern Gibson Championships Course.
The men recorded 90 points in the win to soundly defeat the Ducks who put together a score of 113 points. The race was eight kilometers long and at the 5k mark, the Buffs had a five point lead over the Ducks at 97-103. CU would move up a couple of positions in the final three kilometers, while UO dropped a few, earning the Buffs a 23 point victory.
Behind the Ducks, No. 18 Iona came in third (126) and No. 29 Stanford was fourth (148). With the finishes of CU, UO and SU, the Pac-12 Championships in two weeks is sure to be a battle.
Individually, junior Morgan Pearson was the first Buff to cross the finish, coming in seventh overall in 23 minutes, 39.68 seconds. He was just .33 seconds behind the sixth-place finisher, Purdue’s Matt McClintock (23:39.35). Stanford’s Sean McGorty was fifth and also less than a second in front of Pearson with a time of 23:38.97.
Texas Tech Kennedy Kithuka won the meet and came close to the course record with a time of 22:52.8.
Making his debut in the black and gold at the meet was freshman Ben Saarel, and it was quite the debut as he raced to a top-10 finish by taking ninth in 23:40.66. He came across the line just after Butler’s Tom Curr, who was able to sneak in between Pearson and Saarel (23:40.10). Saarel was 25th at the 3k point of the race and worked his way up to 14th at 5k before finishing at ninth.
“It was a lot of fun to put on the Colorado uniform,” Saarel said. “I think today we had a solid showing but there is always room for improvement.”
Blake Theroux and Pierce Murphy were the next two Buffs who crossed the finish. Theroux took 22nd overall (23:52.81) and Murphy was 24th (23:56.09). Connor Winter rounded out CU’s score with a 28th-place finish and a time of 23:58.12.
Ammar Moussa and Zach Perrin also ran in uniform for the Buffs although they did not score. Moussa was 54th overall (24:15.76) and Perrin placed 114th in his first meet for the Buffs (24:42.90).
The No. 12 CU women also had a good meet, finishing seventh with 223 points. Georgetown, which was ranked fifth in the poll, won with 117 points. No. 2 Florida State placed second with 162 points, No. 20 Butler was third (176) and No. 16 Virginia placed fourth (191). The Buffs were only nine points behind the No. 6 Oregon Ducks, which totaled 214 points. CU finished in front of Pac-12 rival No. 11 Stanford. The Cardinal placed ninth with 275 points.
Senior Shalaya Kipp ran in her first meet of the season, her first race since running the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships in August, and led the Buffs with a 19th-place finish. Her final placing was up two spots from her 4k position of 21st. Kipp crossed the line of the 6k race in 20:35.58.
Carrie Verdon was the next to finish and was just behind Kipp at 22nd. Verdon’s time was 20:42.70 and she passed five people between the 4k and finish, moving up from 27th.
Freshmen Erin Clark and Melanie Nun were also racing for the Buffs in uniform, the first time this season. Clark was 28th in 20:47.76 and Nun took 57th in 21:06.74.
“We have a lot of young, talented women who really showed their potential today,” Kipp said. “Erin Clark and Melanie Nun were the stars today. It’s not easy stepping into your first big college meet and performing well. After seeing today’s results, I think a conference championship win is within our grasp.”
Jenny DeSouchet was the fifth harrier to finish for Buffs and placed 97th in 21:26.06. Liz Tremblay and Catrina McAlister were the final two racers for CU. Tremblay was 118th in 21:35.12 and McAlister placed 163rd in 21:51.41.
Another part of the CU team was competing at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in the open sections on Saturday on the other side of the country in Sunnyvale, Calif. The men’s and women’s teams were mixed with some middle distance runners and sprinters.
Joe Mitchem was the top performer for the men, placing 29th overall (26:13.3). Panos Smyrnios was 45th (26:32.2) and David Emmert placed 99th (27:30.4). CU sprinters Jaron Thomas, Tyler Baker and Kyle MacIntosh also ran. Tomas was 219th (36:13.2), Baker took 221st (36:28.7) and MacIntosh was 222nd (36:36.6).
The women were led by Maddie Alm’s fifth-place finish in the open race. She crossed the line in 22:33.3. Rachel Viger was just behind Alm in sixth place with a time of 22:33.4. Olivia Rintala picked up a top-15 placing at 15th overall in 23:06.8. Lindsey Hubbard finished 80th overall (25:07.1). The other racers for CU were Eileen Gehring (183rd, 29:44.1), Alexandra Haskell (185th, 29:48.6) and Lindsy Mattson (186th, 29:54.0).
The Buffs will be off next weekend before hosting the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville, Colo. The men’s 8k race will start at 10:40 a.m. and the women’s 6k will follow at 11:40 a.m. An awards ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Admission is free.
2013 NCAA PRE-NATIONAL INVITATIONAL
La Vern Gibson Championship Course (Terra Haute, Ind.)
Top 10 (of 52) Men’s BLUE Team Scores: 1. Colorado, 90; 2. Oregon, 113; 3. Iona, 126; 4. Stanford, 148; 5. Tulsa, 159; 6. Princeton, 276; 7. Oklahoma State, 300; 8. Boise State, 313; 9. Oklahoma, 409; 10. Southern Utah, 425.
Top 15 (of 359) Individuals: 1. Kennedy Kithuka, TTU, 22:52.8; 2; Anthony Rotich, UTEP, 23:25.5; 3. Chris O-Hare, Tulsa, 23:32.0; 4. Edward Cheserek, Oregon, 23:33.0; 5. Sean McGorty, Stanford, 23:39.0; 6. Matt McClintock, Purdue, 23:39.4; 7. Morgan Pearson, CU, 23:39.7; 8. Tom Curr, Butler, 23:40.1; 9. Ben Saarel, CU, 23:40.7; 10. Daniel Corley, Iona, 23:41.2; 11. John Mascari, Indiana State, 23:41.8; 12. Abbabiya Simbassa, Oklahama, 23:41.8; 13. Jim Rosa, Stanford, 23:44.8; 14. Erik Olson, Stanford, 23:44.8; 15. Parker Stinson, Oregon, 23:45.8.
Other CU Finishers: 22. Blake Theroux, 23:52.9; 24. Pierce Murphy, 23:56.1; 28. Connor Winter, 23:58.2; 54. Ammar Moussa, 24:15.8; 114. Zach Perrin, 24:42.9
8k Open Individual Results (CU Individuals Only)
(1. Tanguy Pepiot, Oregon, 24:45.3) 3. Dillon Shije, 24:53.9; 8. David Kilgore, 25:22.4;
Top 10 (of 49) Women’s BLUE Team Scores : 1. Georgetown, 116; 2. Florida State, 162; 3. Butler, 176; 4. Virginia, 191; 5. Oregon, 214; 6. Michigan, 219; 7. Colorado, 223; 8. William & Mary, 248; 9. Stanford, 275; 10. Princeton, 420.
Top 15 (of 340) Individuals: 1. Emma Bates, Boise State, 20:09.1; 2. Aisling Cuffe, Stanford, 20:10.7; 3. Cally Macumber, 20:12.2; 4. Jessica Tonn, Stanford, 20:12.9; 5. Colleen Quigley, Florida Staqte, 20:13.7; 6. Hannah Walker, Florida State, 23:14.3; 7. Emily Lipari, Villanova, 20:17.1; 8. Emily Stites, W&M, 20:17.8; 9. Kate Avery, Iona, 20:18.2; 10. Katie Clark, Butler, 20:19.6; 11. Barbara Stehler, Virginia, 20:22.8; 12. Elaina Balouris, W&M, 20:24.2; 13. Monika Juodeskaite, Oklahama, 20:29.0; 14. Samantha Nadel, Georgetown, 20:29.6; 15. Megan Curham, Princeton, 20:32.5.
Other CU Finishers: 19. Shalaya Kipp, 20:35.6; 22. Carrie Verdon, 20:42.7; 28. Erin Clark, 20:47.7; 57. Melanie Nun, 21:06.8; 97. Jenny DeSouchet, 21:26; 118. Liz Tremblay, 21:35.2; 163. Catrina McAlister, 21:51.41;
6k Open Individual Results (CU Individuals Only)
(1. Molly McNamara, Stanford, 21:32.2) 7. Courtney Bouchet, 22:03.6; 12. Jana Stolting, 22:15.3.
SANTA CLARA BRONCO INVITATIONAL
Baylands Park (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
Women’s Division I Team Finishes
1. Santa Clara, 46; 2. Colorado, 73; 3. San Diego, 76; 4. Nevada, 87; 5. Pacific, 91; 6. Pepperdine, 127; 7. San Jose State, 148.
Women’s 6k Open (CU Finishers Only)
(1. Rylee Bowen, unattached, 22:15.1) 5. Maddie Alm, 22:33.3; 6. Rachel Viger, 22:33.4; 15. Olivia Rintala, 23:06.8; 80. Lindsey Hubbard, 25:07.01; 183. Eileen Gehring, 29:44.1; 185. Alexandra Haskell, 29:48.6; 186. Lindsy Mattson, 29:54.0.
Men’s Division I Team Finishes
1. Santa Clara, 25; Colorado, 30.
Men’s 8k Open (CU Finishers Only)
(1. Peter Stephens, Santa Clara, 25:55.3) 29. Joe Mitchem, 26:13.3; 45. Panos Smyrnios, 26:32.2; 99. David Emmert, 27:30.4; 219. Jaron Thomas, 36:13.2; 221; Tyler Baker, 36:38.7; 222; Kyle MacIntosh, 36:36.6.