BOULDER - The 2012 cross country season got off to a good start for the University of Colorado on Saturday morning with several great individual performances at the time trial.
"The races went well," coach Mark Wetmore said. "We use this race to kind of determine the beginning of the varsity. You'll notice some of our women and men didn't run. But looking back around team we learned some things today."
Courtney Bouchet placed second to lead CU in the women's 5.8-kilometer race, crossing the finish in 22 minutes and four seconds. Rachel Baptista and Jana Stolting, two of her teammates, finished third and fourth, respectively, with the identical time of 22:04. Staci Foster also had the same time and finished sixth overall. Diana George was the fifth uniformed Buff to finish the race, clocking a time of 22:27.
"I feel like it went really well," Baptista said. "We were supposed to run it around 23 and we ran it in 22 minutes so it's always nice to go a little faster and still feel good while you're doing it."
Stolting agreed it was a good start to the season.
"It's good, it's a good outing for the team," she said. "We really did a good job working together. We kind of all stuck together and brought each other in."
One of the notable that didn't run on the women's team was two-time All-American Shalaya Kipp who recently returned from competing at the Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Wetmore told the media earlier this season that she will take some time off before returning to her training this fall, at which point the coaching staff will evaluate her and see if she will be ready to compete this fall.
The men's team was led by redshirt freshman Connor Winter, who finished in 26:14 placing third overall. There were six Buffs who finished with that time which included Blake Theroux, David Kilgore, Pierce Murphy, Hugh Dowdy and Martin Medina.
"I feel pretty good," Winter said about his performance. "I feel like I've really improved since I was a freshman. I'm getting used to the course and getting used to training with the guys at this high level in college. I'm feeling better and had a good summer of training. Now I feel good and really excited for the season and what the team can do. We are quite a bit stronger and feeling really good."
CU's men are ranked fifth in the USTFCCCA Preseason Coaches Poll and the women are 13th. Overall Wetmore seemed very pleased with the performances of the day.
"This is the beginning of the end of summer," Wetmore said. "They just came to us about a week ago. This is when we find out who has been naughty and who has been nice. On both sides, I don't see anyone who took the summer off. People like Staci Foster and Courtney Bouchet; they proved they had real good summers. I think they might've ran the fastest time they have ever run here and we run here in a month in much better conditions. The men were very sound. I think to have eight men at 26:16; we've never done that before. Now we have to see what happens in a month."
The Buffs are off until September 29 when then will host the 27th Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout. The meet will start at 9 a.m. with the men's 8k race and the women will run 5.8k at 9:45 a.m. Parking and admission are free. More details are available at CUBuffs.com/CrossCountry.
2012 CU Time Trial
Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course (BOULDER)
Women's 5.8k Results (top 10)
1. Elise Cranny, 21.56; 2. Courtney Bouchet, CU, 22:04; 3. Rachel Baptista, CU 22:04; 4. Jana Stolting, CU, 22:04; 5. Rachel Viger, 22:04; 6. Staci Foster, CU, 22:04; 7. Diana George, CU, 22:27; 8. Kelley Whitley, 22:37; 9. Breanna Hemming, 22:38; 10. Elizabeth Tremblay, CU, 22:41.
Other CU Finishers: 11. Nikki Look, 22:45; 19. Becky Popiel, 25:32.
Men's 8k Results (top 10)
1. John Beattie, 26:07; 2. Morgan Pearson, 26:14; 3. Connor Winter, CU, 26:14; 4. Jake Hurysz, 26:14; 5. Blake Theroux, CU, 26:14; 6. David Kilgore, CU, 26:14; 7. Pierce Murphy, CU, 26:14; 8. Hugh Dowdy, CU, 26:14; 9. Martin Medina, CU, 26:14; 10. Matt Biegner, 26:18.
Other CU Finishers: 11. Aric Van Halen, 26:18; 12. Dillon Shije, 26:40; 14. Jonny Stevens, 26:51; 15. Jerome Perkins, 26:57; 17. Jeff Warren, 27:11; 20. Ryan Savercool, 27:38.