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    Saturday Cross Country Roundup

    Texas A&M Women in Third at Greater Louisville Classic

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Texas A&M women placed third in Saturday’s Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic, finishing just a point outside of another SEC team, Kentucky. The Aggie men placed 11th among a field of 32 teams on the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
    “This is kind of the kickoff for the racing season in cross country,” said Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. “For the women’s team to run and compete as well as they did, even when they didn’t have a perfect race, is a good sign. Eventually we’ll have all five, six and seven girls clicking on the same cylinder. We know it’s there because we see it in training as well as in some past races.
    “The men’s team finish wasn’t truly indicative of our ability as a team. Isaac Spencer is showing some maturity and ran the race the way we wanted him to. The other younger guys in the race for us need to have faith in his ability to lead them. We need to work on getting that gap closed down from Isaac to the rest of the group.”
    Hillary Montgomery led the A&M women with a 10th place finish in a time of 17:26.90 with Karis Jochen 15th in 17:36.02 over the 5,000-meter course.
    “I’m really excited and I think our team is really strong this year,” stated Montgomery. “We still need to work on a couple of things, but we ran really well together. The course was so nice, and it was an exciting atmosphere. It’s an incredible feeling to race on a course where they have hosted nationals.”
    Isaac Spencer produced a ninth place effort in the men’s 8,000-meter race, covering the course in 24:44.86.
    “I went out a lot more conservative this time compared to how fast we went out at the Rice meet a couple of weeks ago,” Spencer explained. “From mile two to three I was in 30th place and was able to move up to 14th. Then I just started reeling people in from there to the finish line. 
    “Instead of finishing the race with nothing left, I was able to finish in a stronger position to catch people. That’s exactly what I wanted to do, so I felt really comfortable today.”
    Guelph, a team from Canada, won both team Gold division titles as the women totaled 49 points and the men scored 60.
    Following Guelph in the women’s Gold division race were Kentucky with 130 points and the Aggies with 131. The rest of the top 15 teams included Eastern Kentucky (176), Louisville (197), Miami of Ohio (229), Tennessee (233), Western Ontario (280), Arkansas State (312), St. Louis (326), Marquette (343), Elon (352), Edinboro (368), Georgia Tech (389) and Western Kentucky (440).
    Host Louisville was second in the men’s race with 100 points while Southern Indiana placed third with 129. The rest of the top 15 teams included Tennessee (152), Washington of Missouri (227), East Tennessee State (304), Edinboro (311), Georgia Tech (311), St. Francis (321), Florida A&M (333), Texas A&M (338), Morehead (360), Ferris State (378), Eastern Kentucky B (392), and Campbell (411).
    In the men’s race, which started with a comfortable sunny morning, the individual winner was Peter Okwera of Tennessee, who covered the course that served as host of the NCAA Championships last fall in 24:20.39. Louisville’s Ernest Kibet placed second in 24:22.10.
    By the start of the women’s race the sky was more overcast with higher humidity. Eastern Kentucky’s Ann Eason claimed the individual title in 16:51.39 over defending SEC champion Cally Macumber of Kentucky, who ran 16:57.75 for runner-up honors.
    Jochen was the top Aggie runner in the first half of the women’s 5,000-meter race with Montgomery just a couple of strides back. In the latter half of the race Montgomery advanced into the top A&M position and produced the top 10 finish.
    “I tried to run with Karis for most of the race,” said Montgomery. “At the third mile I started picking up the pace. Coach McRaven had told us to feel the race out and try to go in that last mile. That’s what we’ve been training for. So, that’s when I tried to make my move.”
    McRaven added: “Hillary did a great job. It was great to see her lead the charge and have her hard work pay off.”
    The next pair of Aggies to finish was the tandem of Sophie Blake and Grace Fletcher, placing 20th and 23rd, with times of 17:44.11 and 17:51.05. Then Amanda Jenkins claimed the fifth scoring spot for A&M, placing 70th in 18:28.30. 
    Texas A&M’s top five scoring positions were 9-14-19-22-67 with Katie Willard (95th, 18:44.93) and Gabby Salazar (117th, 19:00.03) at 90 and 110 as the sixth and seventh runners. Kentucky’s scoring five came through in positions 2-7-16-45-60 to claim second place by a single point over the Aggies.
    “The women ran a solid race and I’m very pleased with the performance,” said McRaven. “We still trained pretty hard this week leading up to this race. We weren’t hitting on all cylinders, but our top four were really solid today.”
    Kentucky led A&M by 17 points though the first three finishers, but the Aggies picked up 23 points based on Fletcher’s finish over the Wildcats fourth runner. The six point edge for A&M came up just short when the fifth runner for Kentucky placed 60th compared to Jenkins being 67th for the Aggies.
    “Finishing that close to Kentucky is a good sign for us,” noted Montgomery. “As a team we can run a lot better than we raced today. We raced well, but I think we are capable of a lot more. We’re excited to prove that in the upcoming weeks.”
    The next three finishers for the A&M women’s team included Joanna Galloway (123rd, 19:03.27), Heather Sterling (153rd, 19:15.97), and Meredith Gleitz (217th, 19:48.48).
    Behind Spencer’s leading effort for the A&M men, four freshmen claimed the following four scoring positions. Austin Wells was the second Aggie to finish as he placed 72nd with a time of 25:44.16. Cameron Villarreal ran 25:52.29 for 86th place, and Colin Stoeber clocked 26:04.40 to finish in 103rd. The fifth runner for A&M was Ryan Teel at 106th in 26:06.45. The scoring positions for the squad were 8-65-78-92-95.
    Three more Aggies followed in a four-minute gap as Austin Geerts placed 110th in 26:08.49, Xavier Jimenez finished 113th in 26:09.80, and Jake Roberts was 121st in 26:12.59. Micah Dettmer (155th, 26:38.67) and Alex Riba (231st, 27:44.76) rounded out the A&M squad.

    Alabama Competitive at Paul Short Invitational

    Bethlehem, Pa. – The Alabama cross country team joined a bevy of other college and high school teams at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University. The Crimson Tide women finished 10th among a field of 48 teams while the men’s team was 25th in a field of 47 teams.
    In the women’s standings, Alabama’s 10th place finish was highlighted by a 24th place showing by sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf. Running in a field of 406 runners, Greenleaf covered the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes, two seconds. Other Alabama finishers included freshman Hannah Waggoner (54th, 21:27), freshman Hilary Stafford (65th, 21:32), sophomore Rebecca Stover (73rd, 21:36), Susie Kemper (139th, 22:10), sophomore Meropi Panagiotou (170th, 22:24) and sophomore Kimberley Ficenec (237th, 22:59). The Crimson Tide women's team battled through heat and an uneven pace.
    “Our women just have to put it all together,” said Alabama distance coach Adam Tribble. “We have the pieces in place, but we just need to all put our best performances together on the same day. We had some issues today that prevented us from doing that.”
    Georgetown won the women’s team standings with 112 points. Dartmouth was second with 125, Villanova was third with 168 and Cornell placed fourth with 182. Alabama had 355 points with its 10th-place finish.
    In the men’s event, Indiana won the men’s race with 89 points. Dartmouth was second with 106, Georgetown was third with 110, Harvard was fourth with 167 and Iowa State took fifth with 188. Alabama had 708 points in its 25th-place finish.
    Sophomore Parker Deuel led Alabama by placing 82nd in a field of 397 competitors, covering the eight-kilometer course in 25:12. Freshman Conner Thompson was 127th overall in 25:37 in the first 8k race of his career. Junior Matt Airola (135th, 25:41), sophomore Andrew Faris (153rd, 25:46), and sophomore Gil Walton (211th, 26:14).
    The Crimson Tide will continue the 2013 season on Friday, October 18, when Alabama hosts the Crimson Classic at the Harry Pritchett Running Course.

    Arkansas Wins Title at Chili Pepper Festival

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Led by junior Grace Heymsfield, the No. 9 Arkansas women's cross country team took eight of the top 10 spots and won a sweeping victory at the 2013 Chile Pepper Festival. 
    Coming off three perfect scores, the Razorback women were one point shy of a fourth perfect finish, scoring 16 points. This score put them 72 points ahead of the second place finisher, Loyola Marymount, and 82 ahead of Texas Tech, who took third.
    Heymsfield led the pack of Razorbacks to the finish line when she crossed at 16:55.8, followed shortly by her nine teammates. Sophomore Dominique Scott, junior Shannon Klenke and senior Stephanie Brown rounded out the top four places, finishing at 17:00.8, 17:10.3 and 17:13.0, respectively. Grace Heymsfield and Shannon Klenke were the next to finish at 17:34 and 17:38, respectively. Freshman Sandie Raines, junior Diane Robison, senior Paige Johnston and junior Jessica Kamilos completed the top 10 for the Razorbacks.
    “We wanted to make sure we ran a strong, safe race,” head coach Lance Harter said. “We executed our race plan perfectly. I thought it was an A effort.”
    Arkansas continued to cross the finish line with freshman Regan Ward, 17:51.6, and Keri Wood, 18:28.3.
    The Razorbacks return to the course in two weeks on Saturday, Oct. 19, for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
    For more information on Arkansas women’s cross country, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.

    Razorback Men Finish First at Chile Pepper Festival

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 6 University of Arkansas Razorbacks men’s cross country team stormed to a first place finish at the 2013 Chile Pepper Festival, led by a second place finish by senior Kemoy Campbell.
    Campbell kept with the reigning national champion, Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech, for most of the race, finishing with a strong 22:38.4 to finish second overall. The Razorbacks ran a full team for the first time this season. Campbell was quickly followed by junior Stanley Kebeni in third place at 24:08.0 and senior Solomon Haile in fifth at 24:27.6. Sophomore Gabe Gonzales finished ninth with a time of 24:47.6 and senior Raymond Joseph rounded out the scorers at 25:05.5 and 12th place.
    The Razorbacks scored 31 points for the meet, 13 points ahead of the second place finisher, No. 27 Villanova. Texas Tech filled the top three with a score of 91.
    “Any time you can race and finish ahead of several good programs it is a good day,” head coach Chris Bucknam said. “Kemoy Campbell was with Kennedy Kithuka most of the way, he stayed within reach which leads me to believe that, down the road, he can tighten that gap as we head toward the national championship.”
    To round out Arkansas’ squad for the day, senior David Flynn finished in eighteenth place at 25:20.6, sophomore Patrick Rono crossed in 25th at 25:32.8, freshman Aidan Swain finished in 25:49.2, sophomore Arch Robertson clocked a 25:56.4 at 36th place, sophomore Cale Wallace crossed in 38th at 25:56.7 and freshman Noah Findley took the 57th spot with a time of 26:36.2. 
    The Razorbacks return to the course in two weeks on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
    For more information on Arkansas men’s cross country, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.

    Kentucky Women Second at Greater Louisville

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The UK women's cross country team was the top-NCAA team finisher, and No. 2 team overall with 130 points, as seniors Cally Macumber and Allison Peare posted top-10 finishes on Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic.
    Macumber and Peare placed Nos. 2 and 7 respectively with times of 16:57.75 and 17:24.67. Macumber ran a 5K in fewer than 17 minutes for the second time this season.
    The University of Guelph from Canada won the women’s team competition with 60 points.
    The UK men's team placed 27th overall on 688 points. MacKay Wilson was UK's top finisher in 42nd (37 points) with a time of 25:28.89. 
    Freshman Cassidy Hale turned in a top-10 performance in her hometown with a 17th-place time of 17.40.77 (16), Taylor Wendler was 46th with a time of 18:07.86 (45) and Anna Bostrom was UK's No. 5 finisher placing 62nd overall with a time of 18:23.24 (60).
    Gabriel Harm was 154th in 26:38.37 (136), Jake Wildenmann was 178th in  26:51.93 (155), Keffri Neal 27:08.13 placed 195th (168) and Tim Layten rounded out UK's top-5 with a 195th-place time of 27:47.09 (192).
    Kentucky will return to action for the last race of the regular season, the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 19.


    Commodores run solid races in Louisville

    Vanderbilt's No. 26 women's cross country team placed 13th in the gold division of the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday with the men's squad placing fourth in the blue division.

    The Commodores were led by Amira Joseph, making her 2013 debut, running 18:05.13 over the 5K course for a 40th place finish. Vanderbilt sent only five runners to Louisville to comprise a scoring team with Katherine Delaney (18:18.13), Reagan Anderson (18:39.96), Megan Yohe (19:02.06) and Kara Slavoski (19:22.08) following Joseph across the line.

    "Kat Delaney really put herself out there today and showed significant improvement from the Commodore Classic. Kat ran a PR of 18:18 and placed 2nd for our team," assistant coach Rhonda Riley said. "This was a great learning experience for the ladies and they will continue to put in quality training leading into their next race."

    In the men's 8K race, the Commodores put together a solid effort to place fourth in the blue division. John Ewing led the way running 26:22.09 to place 30th overall. Freshman Jake Van Geffen ran another steady race with a time of 26:43.93 to be the Dores' second finisher. Matthew Cleveland (27:11.96), Andrew Fix (27:21.37) and Nick French (27:25.56) rounded out VU's scoring squad. Andrew Bachman (27:53.58) and Sam Reilly (28:05.25) followed by Sam Andrews (28:47.89) and Dan Henderson (30:27.90) completing the Commodores' team.

    "I am very pleased with the men's efforts today. As a team they worked well together and are starting to gain confidence as the season progresses," Riley said.

    Both teams return to action in two weeks with the women's team sending runners to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on October 19 and both the men's and women's team sending runners to the Crimson Classic on October 18.

    LSU Cross Country Teams Finish Ninth, 11th at Chile Pepper Festival

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Andria Aguilar led the Lady Tigers for the third consecutive contest to a ninth place finish in the women’s 5k, while junior William Wiesler paced the men in their 8k to an 11th place finish this Saturday at the Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park.

    Aguilar clocked 18:39.5, leading the Lady Tigers to a ninth place finish with 254 points. Arkansas’ took home the team title with 16 points.

    Wiesler, the leading point-scorer at 53 points, crossed the finish line at 26 minutes, 40.7 seconds, giving the Tigers a team total of 316 points and an 11th place finish. Arkansas took home the men’s crown with 31 points.

    Grace Heymsfield from Arkansas (16:55.8) finished first for the women, while Kennedy Kithuka from Texas Tech (23:28.1) finished first in the men’s 8k.

    Other top finishers for the Lady Tigers included redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews (19:45.6) and freshman Ashley Welbourn (19:45.8). Freshmen Danielle Avery (20:32.1) and Welbourn both conquered previous personal bests at the Festival Saturday.  

    Juniors Philip Dempsey (27:00.0), Bryan Mutell (27:06.9) and Philip Primeaux (27:24.6) followed Wiesler as the team’s second, third and fourth place finishers in the men’s race.

    “We have two weeks to prepare,” cross country head coach Khadevis Robinson said. “We must get better.”

    Following the Chile Pepper Festival, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will take a week off from competition before traveling east to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they will compete in the Crimson Classic on Oct. 18. The meet will be held at the Harry Pritchett Recreational Complex with the women’s race starting at 5:00 p.m. CDT and the men’s race immediately following at 5:30 p.m.