Horsch paces women's team at Rocky Mountain Shootout
BOULDER, Colo. – Junior Megan Horsch posted one of the best days of her career on Saturday at the 25th Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout to finish ninth in the 5.8 kilometer race and help the Northern Colorado women's cross country team to a third-place finish. The men's team also finished fourth among Division I teams.
The field was extremely competitive among both genders. Among Division I teams, the Colorado men are ranked fourth, while the women are 13th. Among Division II teams competing, the Adams State and Western State men rank 1-2, respectively and Metro State is 17th. The Adams State women are No. 1 in the nation, while Western State is 8th.
"The guys ran great overall as a team," said cross country coach John Gutierrez. "Our top five all finished over a minute faster than last year's team (combined). The women also ran well. Megan was absolutely amazing, running almost 58 seconds faster than last year. We are running at a quicker pace and compete in a few weeks at Fort Hays State. That will be the springboard for Spokane (and the Big Sky Championships) and I know we are the most prepared we've been since we turned Division I."
Horsch timed a 22:25, her best pace of the season and almost 58 seconds faster than she ran a year ago and 26 seconds faster than the Bears' top runner in 2009. Her time was 24th overall, but ninth among Division I runners.
Senior Denise Kintzley ran a 23:31 to finish 14th among Division I teams and 51st overall, while Nicole O'Dwyer (16, 73, 24:16), Haley Hughes (18, 105, 25:04) and Samantha Pitchford (19, 118, 25:35) also finished among the top 20 Division I competitors. Sari Little also competed for the Bears, but finished outside the team scoring placing 131st overall in 26:14.
Senior Danny Sojka finished the race over five seconds faster than he did a year ago, placing 20th among Division I runners and 97th overall on the 8K course in 27:46. Jason Kearns (22, 116, 28:04), John McCarthy (23, 129, 28:27), Joe Pummer (25, 160, 28:46) and Cam McQueen (26, 187, 29:13) rounded out the scoring, while Kyle Kusmik (189, 29:16) also ran for the Bears.
The teams return to action at the FHSU Tiger Open on Oct. 16. Races are scheduled to begin at 9 am in Fort Hays, Kan. The women are looking to defend their title from a year ago, while the men hope to improve upon their sixth place finish.