TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Andy Wacker took second-place overall as the No. 8 University of Colorado men's cross country team won the 2011 NCAA Pre-National Invitational on Sunday afternoon. The No. 4 CU women's team placed fourth at the meet and was led by Shalaya Kipp's ninth-place performance.
Wacker ran a great race, finishing the 8-kilometer course in 23 minutes, 58 seconds, just three seconds behind Iona's Leonard Korir who finished in 23:55. Wacker improved from a 17th-place finish at the meet one year ago where he finished in 24:08.
"That was a really nice race for Andy," coach Mark Wetmore said. "That guy ahead of him (Korir) is an excellent runner. Andy had a great summer of training and his work is paying off."
Richard Medina crossed the finish fourth overall. Cincinnati's Eric Finan caught him in the last meters, but Medina was still able to finish strong, clocking a time of 24:04.
Ammar Moussa had a good first run in a CU uniform. The true freshman placed 19th overall and finished two positions in front of teammate Christian Thompson (21st). Moussa finished in 24:36 and Thompson recorded a time of 24:39. Blake Theroux was the fifth Buff to finish. He was 36th overall (24:56).
"I really like our team's chances this year," Wacker said. "We are training better than ever. We have a lot of good guys. We are just getting started this year and I'm excited."
The men were third at the 5k point in the race and moved up in the final 3k to finish first with 82 points. No. 12 Portland was second with 104 points and No. 5 Iona placed third with 109 points.
"This was basically our first race against any opposition this year," Wetmore said. "We made a couple of mistakes in this race, so we will look to fix those in the next five weeks."
In the women's 6k race, Kipp started in the front of the pack, running in the top three for the first couple of kilometers. She moved back in the lead pack but was able to finish in the top-10, placing ninth-overall in 20:51. Kipp improved from a 12th-place finish at the meet in 2010.
"Shalaya, like Andy, had a great summer of training and was ahead of a whole lot of women that beat her a year ago," Wetmore said. "She is still learning the ropes since this is just her second season of competition, but this was a very nice race for her."
Lara Darco was the second Buff to finish the race, crossing the line in 21:26 for 23rd place. Katie Cumming was 34th overall (21:40) and Camille Logan placed 40th (21:44). Rachel Viger rounded out CU's score with a 59th-place finish (22:02).
The women's team was in fourth at the halfway point and was able to hang on to the position, finishing with 160 points. No. 3 Florida State won the title with 46 points and No. 5 Georgetown was third with 99 points. Michigan edged out CU by two points for third as the Wolverines recorded 158 points.
"They looked a little tired and flat," Wetmore said. "They weren't at the top of their game. We had a hard week of practice, so maybe we need to be a little better rested. Like the men, this was their first race against any real major competition. We will make adjustments and be ready to run again in two weeks."
The Buffs will be off next weekend before competing at the inaugural Pac-12 Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Tempe, Ariz.
LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course
Top 10 Men's Team Scores: 1. 3. Colorado, 82; 2. Portland, 104; 3. Iona, 109; 4. Eastern Kentucky, 186; 4. Florida State, 186; 6. Tulsa, 197; 7. Louisville, 232; 8. Indiana, 259; 9. Viginia Tech, 322; 10. Dartmouth, 343.
Top 15 Individuals: 1. Leonard Korir, Iona, 23:55; 2. Andy Wacker, CU, 23:58; 3. Eric Finan, Cincinnatti, 24:04; 4. Richard Medina, CU, 24:04; 5. Dasid Forrester, Florida State, 24:09; 6. Michael Fout, Florida State, 24:14; 7. Soufiane Bouchikhi, Eastern Kentuckey, 24:15; 8. Trevor Dunbar, Portland, 24:15; 9. Matthem Bayley, Iona, 24:22; 10. Andrew Bayer, Indiana, 24:27; 11. Jonathan Peterson, UC Davis, 24:27; 12. Alexander Soderberg, Iona, 24:31; 13. Ben Cheruiyot, Eastern Kentucky, 24:31; 14. Elkana Rotich, UTEP, 24:31; 15. Alfred Kipchumba, Portland, 24:31.
Other CU Finishers: 19. Ammar Moussa, 24:36; 21. Christian Thompson, 24:39; 36. Blake Theroux, 24:56; 57. Martin Medina, 25:17; 67. Jonny Stevens, 25:23
Top 10 Women's Team Scores : 1. Florida State, 46; 2. Georgetown, 99; 3. Michigan, 3; 4. Colorado, 160; 5. Cornell, 161; 6. UC Davis, 221; 7. Dartmouth, 273; 8. Iona, 304; 9. Central Michigan, 329; 10. Tulsa, 336.
Top 15 Individuals: 1. Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP, 20:19; 2. Abbey S'Agostino, Dartmouth, 20:23; 3. Tara Erdmann, Loyola Marymount, 20:41; 4. Amanda Winslow, Florida State, 20:44; 5. Emily Infield, Georgetown, 20:44; 6. Hollie Rowland, Iona, 20:46; 7. Violah Lagat, Florida State, 20:47; 8. Hannah Brooks, Florida State, 20:48; 9. Shalaya Kipp, CU, 20:51; 10. Lydia Kosgei, Eastern Kentucky, 20:56; 11. Paula Whiting, Tulsa, 20:59; 12. Martina Tresch, Kansas State, 21:03; 13. Colleen Quigley, Florida State, 21:03; 15. Katie Kellner, Cornell, 21:06.
Other CU Finishers: 23. Lara Darco, 21:26; 34. Katie Cumming, 21:40; 40. Camille Logan, 21:44; 59. Rachel Viger, 22:20; 63. Rachel Baptista, 22:03; 115. Diana George, 22:43.