BOULDER — The University of Colorado cross country teams got their 2014 season off to a great start on Saturday morning at the CU Time Trial.
“Each year, the function of this meet is to officially start the racing season,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “But also, it’s an opportunity to see who’s in shape, who got the work done over the summertime and who needs the next ten weeks to go well. This meet in late August or early September is always somewhat affected by the weather conditions. I’ve see it 90 [degrees] here, I’ve seen it very muddy here. Today, the conditions were pretty good. So, I was happy that our front men and our front women were relatively fast but the conditions were a little bit better than average. The overall take is that the men are in very good condition and have a nice head start on the season. Some of the women are in good shape and a few have some work to do.”
The top-ranked men and No. 8 ranked women looked good in their first competition of the season. Redshirt freshman Annie Kelly won the women’s 5.8-kilometer race, while redshirt freshman Adam Peterman took home the title on the men’s race as both teams stuck to the tradition of allowing the youngest person in the lead pack to win the race.
Kelly finished in 22 minutes, 5.1 seconds. She crossed just in front of junior Carrie Verdon (22:05.4), who was racing unattached and junior Jenny DeSouchet (22:05.6). CU’s next uniformed racer was freshman Eryn Blakely. She was seventh overall in 22:39.7. Mandy Ortiz finished ninth (22:57.7) for the Buffs and Olivia Rintala placed 12th (25:50.6)
“Annie [Kelly] was great,” Wetmore said. “She had a wonderful race and is way ahead of a year ago. She definitely had a good summer. Eryn Blakely who was a little bit behind of the group a year ago was way more than a little bit behind last year so she had a good summer. Carrie [Verdon] up front, she was cruising. Jenny Desouchet, she did fine. Most of the people you saw today seemed to have good summers.”
After the meet, Kelly seemed pretty excited about how the team did after its first meet.
“I think we have a really strong team,” Kelly said. “We had a lot of girls finish closely together. There were three of us who came in together and only a couple more after us so; I think we have a really sold team this year.”
The women do have some work to do in the next several weeks if they want to contend for a spot on the podium at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 22, but Wetmore thinks it’s possible for this team.
“It’s possible. They looked better today than they did two weeks ago when we started together. But, we’re lucky that we still have the eight or 10 weeks to go,” Wetmore said.
The men’s team took the top seven spots, although two of the Buffs ran today unattached. The top five crossed the finish at 25:55. Peterman was first in 25:55.0 and senior Jake Hurysz was second (25:55.2). Sophomore Zach Perrin (25:55.4) and senior Morgan Pearson (25:55.7) were third and fourth, respectively and ran unattached. Junior Pierce Murphy (25:55.9) was fifth, junior Ammar (25:56.5) Moussa placed sixth and senior Blake Theroux (26:03.6) was seventh. Junior Connor Winter was just behind that group, placing ninth in 26:41.3.
“It was awesome,” Peterman said about racing in a CU uniform. “It was an honor for the guys to let me take the win, because it’s a tradition to let the youngest guy win in the top seven at the time trial. It was awesome to have the guys there with me to pull me through, and lead me to a new personal record on this course.”
Wetmore liked what he saw during the men’s race as well.
“I’d say Adam Peterman was impressive,” Wetmore said. “If I had to bet on who would struggle to keep up with that front group today, I would have bet on Adam. But he was right up there. This is not a day when we try to run fast but he ran faster than he ever has here so, Adam had a great summer and is looking like a contributor for us.”
Wetmore was also pleased with the return of 2012 All-American Jake Hurysz who sat out the 2013 season.
“Jake is a huge talent,” Wetmore said. “Just more of a middle distance runner than a long distance runner. Those middle distance guys, even though they run cross country, struggle some on this type of a course. This is a tough, tough course. Bad footing, killer hills and mud and rocks and cactus. Normally that’s hard on those pure speed guys like Jake but from what I saw of him today, he looked totally in control.”
Hurysz was happy to finally be back on the cross country course on Saturday.
“It was good,” Hurysz said. “I am excited to get back to work with the guys. It was a long time coming, but it felt really good to get back out there today”.
Overall, the CU men are poised to do well this season and should be in contention to defend their NCAA title from 2013.
“We knew we had a great returning crew,” Wetmore said. “The question would be if they would get a feeling of entitlement or would they get lazy or would they do too much puffed up celebrating during the summer. But obviously, they haven’t. We’ve never had eight runners run 26 minutes up here before, however easily they were taking it in the past and taking it today. So, they’re in a very good position to put in ten more weeks of good work and take a shot at it.”
CU will send a small group to compete on Friday, Sept. 5 at the Colorado State Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo. The next big meet for the varsity runners is the Rocky Mountain Shootout on October 4.
CU TIME TRIAL
Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course (Boulder, Colo.)
No Team Scoring
Women’s 5.8-kilometer Results
1.Annie Kelly, Colorado, 22:05.1
2.Carrie Verdon, unattached, 22:05.4
3.Jenny DeSouchet, Colorado, 22:05.6
4.Melanie Nun, unattached, 2:13.4
5.Tabor Scholl, Unattached, 22:27.1
6.Sarah Hutchings, Boulder Track Club, 22:31.9
7.Eryn Blakely, Colorado, 22:39.7
8.Carol Smith, Boulder Track Club, 22:49.3
9.Mandy Ortiz, Colorado, 22:57.7.
10. Shannon White, Unattached, 24:00.4
11.Erin Kelly, Unattached, 24:41.6
12.Olivia Rintala, Colorado, 25:50.6
13.Camille Febvre, Colorado College, 25:58.8.
14. Rebecca Lavietes, Colorado College, 26:00.5
15.Katie Sandfort, Colorado College, 26:05.5
16.Lesia Atkinson, Unattached, 26:06.5
17.Stephenie Scholl, Unattached, 26:08.1
18.Allison Crimmins, Colorado College, 26:15.8
19.Stefani Messick, Colorado College, 26:17.0
20.Beryl Coulter, Colorado College, 26:56.4
21.Jessica Wright, Colorado College, 27:34.7
Men’s 8-kilometers Results
1. Adam Peterman, Colorado, 25:55.0
2. Jake Hurysz, Colorado, 25:55.2
3. Zach Perrin, Unattached, 25:55.4
4. Morgan Pearson, Unattached, 25:55.7
5. Pierce Murphy, Colorado, 25:55.9
6. Ammar Moussa, Colorado, 25:56.5
7. Blake Theroux, Colorado, 26:03.6
8. Lee Troop, Boulder Track Club, 26:03.7
9. Connor Winter, Colorado, 26:41.3
10. Christian Martin, Unattached, 27:11.0
11. Curtis Begley, Boulder Track Club, 27:49.7
12. Tobias Albrigtsen, Unattached, 28:36.4
13. Graham Frank, Colorado College, 28:41.4
14. Tyler Scholl, Unattached. 28:44.4
15. Charles Lucero, Unattached, 29:01.2
16. Conor Terhune, Colorado College, 29:26.4
17. Tucker Hampson, Colorado College, 29:41.6
18. Joey Schultz, Unattached, 29:49.2
19. Jacob Rothman, Colorado College, 29:57.1
20. Andy Boyle, Unattached, 30:10.3
21. Bradley Ziegler, Unattached, 30:34.0
22. Ryan Faulkner, Unattached, 31:21.4
23. Ryan Bing, Colorado College, 31:39.4
24. Ezra Coopersmith, Colorado College, 32:04.7
25. Andrew Armiger, Unattached, 33:17.2
26. Steven Moses, Unattached, 34:16.2
27. Shawn Scholl, Unattached, 35:31.2
28. Dan Palken, Unattached, 36:59.0
29. Dave Derdeyn, Unattached, 46:59.5