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CU men’s cross country places second, women third at NCAA Pre-Nationals

In the final tune-up before the postseason, the University of Colorado cross country teams had a successful outing as the men placed second and the women took third Saturday at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational at LaVern Gibson Championships Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

The CU men finished second in the 8-kilometer race behind BYU. The Buffs gave the Cougars a good run, finishing just two points behind (81-83).

The women finished third in their 6k race behind No. 8 Washington and No. 2 BYU.

“I would say we had more good races than bad,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “We had some races that were not perfect, but for this time of year, we are satisfied.”

The CU men had a 58-99 lead over BYU through the 3k split with all five scorers in the top 30. Through 5k, the advantage had been cut to 23 points (75-98), but CU still had four in the top 20. Unfortunately through the final 3k of the race, BYU was able to make up just enough ground to edge the Buffs by a pair of points.

CU has had one of the best 1-2 punches in the country with John Dressel and Joe Klecker, and this week was no different as they finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Dressel crossed the finish in 23:34.4, while Klecker recorded a time of 23:35.3 Both ran very steady races and did not see much movement in position as they were at the head of the field for all of the race. Dressel was ninth at 3k and dropped back to 11th at 5k before finishing eighth. Klecker was 6th after 3k and moved down to eighth at 5k before settling for ninth.

But the biggest performance on the men’s side came from Kashon Harrison, who was 11th overall. Harrison finished just out of the top 10 in 23:37.0. He was just .2 of a second behind Iona’s Johnjack Millar (23:36.8). Harrison also ran near the front of the field for the majority of the race. He was 14th through the first 3k and jumped up to fifth at 5k.

The CU women finished with 126 points, which was 38 points in front of seventh-rated Michigan (164). No. 8 Washington (84) defeated No. 2 BYU (87) by just three points.

CU was second to BYU after the 2k split (118-129), but after the 4k split, the Huskies jumped up from fifth to second. BYU led by two at 4k (96-98), while the Buffs were third with 127 points. UW would make a good push in the end to edge the Cougars by a narrow margin.

Sage Hurta ran an excellent race, moving up steadily. She was 17th after the first 2k, but by the 4k split, she had moved up to 10th. She kept the momentum going and passed several more to finish third overall, which is her highest finish at pre-nationals. Hurta’s time of 20:10.0 was less than a second behind the runner-up, Auburn’s Joyce Kimeli (20:09.4). It was also just a fraction ahead of BYU’s Courtney Wayment, who placed fourth in 20:10.8.

2019 NCAA Pre-National Invitational

Terre Haute, Ind. (LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course)

Women’s Blue Race (6k)

Team Results (Top 10 of 37) – 1. Washington 84; 2. BYU 87; 3. Colorado 126; 4. Michingan 164; 5. Florida State 204; 6. Illinois 268; 7. Virginia Tech 292; 8. Butler 306; 9. Boston College 358. 10. Ole Miss 376.

Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 252) – 1. Erica Birk, BYU, 20:02.6; 2. Joyce Kimeli, Auburn, 20:09.4; 3. Sage Hurta, CU, 20:10.0; 4. Courtney Wayment, BYU, 20:10.7; 5. Ericka CanderLende, Michigan, 10:13.4; 6. Katie Rainsberger, Washington, 20:14.5; 7. Winny Koskei, Wichita State, 20:23.8; 8. Molly Born, Oklahoma State, 20:24.6; 9. Taylor Somers, Oklahoma State, 20:26.0; 10. Tabor Scholl, CU, 20:27.1.

Individual Results (CU Athletes Only) – 31. Annie Hill, 20:43.2; 38. Rachel McArthur, 20:47.8; 49. Karina Mann, 20:56.4; 51. Holly Bent, 20:56.6; 145. Bailey Nock, 21:51.7.

Open Race CU Individuals (out of 110) – (1. Emma Sloan, Michigan, 21:02.7); 13. Liz Constien, 21:58.2

Men’s Blue Race (8k)

Team Results (Top 10 of 38) – 1. BYU 81; 2. Colorado 83; 3. Iona 140; 4. Washington 160; 5. Ole Miss 174; 6. Florida State 250; 7. Virginia Tech 252; 8. Villanova 297; 9. Weber State 307; 10. Iowa 322.

Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 257) –  1. Conner Mantz, BYU, 23:20.8; 2. Amon Kemboi, Campbell, 23:22.5; 3. Isai Rodriguez, Oklahoma State, 23:23.8; 4. Jacob Heslington, BYU, 23:26.7; 5. George Kusche, Nebraska, 23:31.6; 6. Ehab El-Sandali, Iona, 23:33.0; 7. Andrew Jordan, Washington, 23:33.8; 8. John Dressel, CU, 23:34.4; 9. Joe Klecker, CU, 23:35.3; 10. Johnjack Millar, Iona, 23:36.8.

Individual Results (CU Athletes Only) – 11. Kashon Harrison, 23:37.0; 17. Eduardo Herrera, 23:51.3; 38. Alex Hornecker, 24:20.6; 62. Austin Vancil, 24:32.5; 71. Gabe Fendel, 24:35.8.

Open Race CU Individuals – (1. Matt Owens, BYU, 24:24.8) 2. Paxton Smith, 24:38.2; 24. Gus Newcomb, 25:43.4; 40. Justice Ramos, 26:07.6; 74. Jonathan Horton, 26:48.2.