No. 2 Colorado (first), No. 4 Oregon (second), No. 9 Tulsa (fifth), No. 10 Princeton (sixth), No. 1 Oklahoma State (seventh) at NCAA Pre-National Invitational
TERRA HAUTE, Ind. -- Second-ranked Colorado more than proved its ranking Saturday morning as the Buffs defeated No. 4 Oregon and the rest of the field at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational at the La Vern Gibson Championships Course.
The men recorded 90 points in the win to soundly defeat the Ducks who put together a score of 113 points. The race was eight kilometers long and at the 5k mark, the Buffs had a five-point lead against the Ducks at 97-103. CU would move up a couple of positions in the final three kilometers, while UO dropped a few, earning the Buffs a 23-point victory.
Behind the Ducks, No. 18 Iona came in third (126) and No. 29 Stanford was fourth (148).
Individually, junior Morgan Pearson was the first Buff to cross the finish, coming in seventh overall in 23 minutes, 39.68 seconds. He was just .33 seconds behind the sixth-place finisher, Purdue’s Matt McClintock (23:39.35). Stanford’s Sean McGorty was fifth and also less than a second in front of Pearson with a time of 23:38.97.
Texas Tech Kennedy Kithuka won the meet and came close to the course record with a time of 22:52.8.
Making his debut in the black and gold at the meet was freshman Ben Saarel, and it was quite the debut as he raced to a top-10 finish by taking ninth in 23:40.66. He came across the line just after Butler’s Tom Curr, who was able to sneak in between Pearson and Saarel (23:40.10). Saarel was 25th at the 3k point of the race and worked his way up to 14th at 5k before finishing at ninth.
“It was a lot of fun to put on the Colorado uniform,” Saarel said. “I think today we had a solid showing but there is always room for improvement.”
Blake Theroux and Pierce Murphy were the next two Buffs who crossed the finish. Theroux took 22nd overall (23:52.81) and Murphy was 24th (23:56.09). Connor Winter rounded out CU’s score with a 28th-place finish and a time of 23:58.12.
Ammar Moussa and Zach Perrin also ran in uniform for the Buffs although they did not score. Moussa was 54th overall (24:15.76) and Perrin placed 114th in his first meet for the Buffs (24:42.90).
No. 3 Northern Arizona (first), No. 5 BYU (second), No. 7 Portland (third), No. 8 Columbia (sixth), No. 6 Arkansas (seventh) at the Adidas Wisconsin Invitational
MADISON, Wis. -- Northern Arizona traveled to the Adidas Wisconsin Invitational on Saturday. The team garnered a first-place finish against a strong field of competition.
Led by a sixth place finish by sophomore Futsum Zienasellassie, the Lumberjacks were able to run away with a first-place finish against a field that featured the likes of No. 5 BYU and No. 6 Arkansas. Junior Matt McElroy finished 16th and senior Brian Shrader finished 17th.
"Futsum, Brian and Matt worked well together," director of track & field and cross country Eric Heins said. "Futsum ran well and was able to push pass some guys at the end."
NAU was able to find success as a result of the team's depth as it ran against the field of 288. In addition to Zienasellassie, Shrader and McElroy the team received great contributions from the remainder of the team. Nathan Weitz (39th), Andy Trouard (43rd) and Josh Hardin (49th) finished in the top-50 while Caleb Hoover (108th) finished in the top half of the field.
"Josh Hardin was able to help some of the younger guys," Heins said. "He slowed down to help get those guys through the final stretch."
This year's first-place finish proved that the men learned from last year's Adidas Wisconsin Invitational. NAU finished a season-worst 13th as a team as a result of getting off to slow start against the large field. The Lumberjacks were able to make the necessary adjustments this year which allowed for them to dictate their own destiny.