Cross Country teams start season with high expectations
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- The Northern Colorado cross country teams started the 2011 season at the Wyoming Invitational. The men's squad finished in fourth place, while the women placed fifth.
"We had one goal today," said Head Coach Amanda Schick. "We wanted to leard about our young team. Our freshmen competed hard on both sides and our returners had great leadership."
The men's squad stayed closely bunched with freshman Evan Bekes running the 4.25 mile course in 23:54.4 to finish 28th overall. Sophomore John McCarthy was right behind him with a time of 23:59.8 for 29th place. Freshman Alex Holm and sophomore Cameron McQueen also crossed the finish line back-to-back with Holm taking 33rd in 24:24.5 and McQueen 34th in 24:26.3. Sophomore Kyle Kusmik rounded out the team scoring with a 43rd place finish in 24:59.7. Freshman John Cusick (44th), junior Derek Schneider (52nd) and freshman Daniel Brooks (53rd) were the other Bear placers.
The total time for the scoring runners was 2:01.44.7 for 129 team points as the spread between runners was just 1:05.3, a decent grouping for the first competition of the season.
On the women's side, freshman Ashley Atkins paced the team. She completed the 2.5 mile course in just 15:44.6 to take 16th place. Fellow freshman Tanelle Berard clocked a 16:08.8 for 23rd place. The next five Bears all finished in a giant bunch, finishing 39th through 44th, with just one other competitor crossing the finish line during that time. Senior Sari Little was 39th in 16:35.1, while senior Nicole Larson was 40th. Sophomores Sammi Pitchford and Nicole O'Dwyer were 41st and 43rd, while freshman Stephanie Clark finished in 44th.
Other finishers for the women's team were freshman Leah Anderson (46th), freshman Cara Feldman (50th), sophomore Haley Hughes (52nd), freshman Amanda Cunningham (54th) and freshman Darion Roque (57th).
"Every week our expectation is to get better and be our best when it counts at the Big Sky Championship," said Schick. "I think we competed well against some strong teams to start and am looking forward to what these teams can do."
They'll get their next chance to compete on Sept. 10 at the UCCS Rust Buster in Colorado Springs.