BOULDER — The University of Colorado cross country teams performed very well on Saturday morning, winning both the men’s and women’s 28th Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout Division I team titles despite less than perfect course conditions due to rain all day on Friday.
“I spent a lot of time out here [at the course] yesterday,” coach Mark Wetmore said. “Yesterday was a disaster, it was almost impassible. We knew the weather would clear and we would have a few hours of non-rain. It cleared up quite a bit from yesterday.”
The No. 3 CU men recorded a perfect team score (15) and the No. 15 CU women picked up 19 points for the win. Air Force placed second in the men’s race (45) and Northern Colorado was the runner-up in the women’s race (40).
Blake Theroux led the CU men with a finish of 25:34 to earn his first ever Rocky Mountain Shootout individual title on the eight-kilometer course. He was pushed quite hard the entire race by freshman teammate Ben Saarel, who crossed the finish second overall in 25:35. Saarel ran the meet unattached, but nonetheless it was a great run.
“Ben is the real deal,” Theroux said. “We all knew what we were getting with him, we knew he was really good and his kick is especially ferocious. I was waiting for him to come back on me, but I laid it all out there at the very end. I was trying to keep my pride being a senior and him being a freshman and that’s how it worked out. I am happy he chose to run up there with me the entire race and that’s what I expect of him the rest of the year.”
Pierce Murphy was the next Buff in uniform to cross the finish line, doing so in 25:42 for fourth-place overall. Another unattached CU freshman, Zach Perrin, was behind him and placed fifth in 25:53. Connor Winter was sixth overall (CU’s third scorer) with a time of 25:56. Dillon Shije had one of the best races of his career at CU with a ninth-place finish (26:12) and David Kilgore rounded out CU’s scoring with a 12th-place finish (26:38).
Wetmore was very happy with the team’s performance today, in particular the freshman who ran unattached.
“Ben looked real good, Zach looked real good, and even Adam Peterman ran pretty well [18th in 26:53],” Wetmore said. “Some of those guys will go in to uniform on Monday and we have at least one person that we have to plug in. The men looked pretty good today despite the conditions.”
The women’s team also looked good and was led by Carrie Verdon who placed second in the 5.8k race in 20:55. Elise Cranny, an unattached runner, won the race in 20:39.
“We knew that this week was going to be kind of tough and muddy,” Verdon said about the race. “It was fun, but definitely slow.”
Catrina McAlister was the next uniformed Buff to finish the race, coming in at ninth in 21:59. Liz Tremblay took 11th overall (22:04) and Jenny DeSouchet was 13th (22:09). Courtney Bouchet was the final Buff to score, placing 14th overall in 22:16.
“I’m happy.,” McAlister said. “I know it’s just the beginning of the season and I’m coming from behind last year. I know I have a long ways to go, but I’m excited to be back up there.”
Like in the men’s race, the freshman women ran unattached. Erin Clark was third overall (21:22) and Melanie Nun placed eighth (21:56).
“We ran all of our freshmen women unattached,” Wetmore explained. “We wait until we know to make the uniform decisions. Two of them will go in to uniform on Monday and maybe a third. Overall, they had pretty good performances. It’s kind of hard to tell because it wasn’t a fast day on the foot [due to the conditions of the course]. It was a beautiful day from the ankles up. It was a little slow so I can’t tell much from today.”
The Buffs will be off until Oct. 19 when they will race at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. Indiana State will host the NCAA Championships this year in Nov. 23 and will host the pre-national meet in three weeks for teams to ‘preview’ the championship course.
(for complete results go to CUBuffs.com/crosscountry)
28th Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout
Buffalo Ranch (Boulder, Colo.)
MEN’S 8K DIVISION I TEAM SCORES
1.Colorado, 15; 2. Air Force, 45
MEN’S 8K NON-DIVISION I TEAM SCORES
1. Western State, 15; 2. Colorado Mines, 56; 3. Colorado Mesa, 117; 4. Colorado Christian, 119; 5. Gillette, 127; 6. South Dakota Mines, 142; 7. Regis, 196.
MEN’S FINISHERS (Top 15):
1. Blake Theroux, CU, 25:34; 2. Ben Saarel, unattached, 25:35; 3. Vegard Olstad, WSU, 25:38; 4. Pierce Murphy, CU, 25:42; 5. Zach Perrin, unattached, 25:52; 6. Connor Winter, CU, 25:56; 7. Morgan Pearson, unattached, 25:57; 8. Tyler Saiz, WSU, 26:08; 9. Dillon Shije, CU, 26:12; 10. Sean Gildea, unattached, 26:20; 11. Kiefer Johnson, WSU, 26:21; 12. David Kilgore, CU, 26:38; 13. Ben Zywicki, unattached, 26:38; 14. Garrett Wilson, WSC, 26:38; 15. Hugh Dowdy, CU, 26:44.
Other CU Finishers: 75. Joe Mitchem, 28:51
WOMEN’S 5.8K DIVISION I TEAM SCORES
1.Colorado, 19; 2. Northern Colorado, 40
WOMEN’S 5.8K NON-DIVISION I TEAM SCORES
1. Western State, 21; 2. Colorado Mesa, 66; 3. CSU-Pueblo, 113; 4. Westminster (Utah), 115; 5. Colorado Christian, 117; 6. Regis, 142; 7. South Dakota Mines, 159
WOMEN’S FINISHERS (Top 15):
1. Elise Cranny, unattached, 20:39; 2. Carrie Verdon, CU, 20:55; 3. Erin Clark, unattached, 21:22; 4. Kristen Arendt, unattached, 21:36; 5. Melody Fairchild, unattached, 21:46; 6. Rachel Gioscia-Ryan, unattached, 21:48; 7. Rikki Gonzales, UNC, 21:53; 8. Melanie Nun, unattached, 21:56; 9. Catrina McAlister, CU, 21:59; 10. Tara Richardson, WSU, 22:02; 11.Liz Tremblay, CU, 22:04; 12. Amanda Scott, unattached, 22:08; 13. Jenny DeSouchet, CU, 22:09; 14. Courtney Bouchet, CU, 22:16; 15. Anna Marshall, WSU, 22:24.
Other CU Finishers: 20. Maddie Alm, 22:54