Nov. 1, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Colorado State men's and women's cross country teams kicked off the championship season with the Mountain West Cross Country Championships Friday morning. Hosted by Air Force at Eisenhower Blue Course, the men’s team finished second out of eight teams, while the women finished third out of 11 teams in the conference.
Senior Ben Larson took top honors for CSU in the 8-kilometer race, placing seventh with a time of 24 minutes, 32.26 seconds. Junior Andrew Goodman took ninth at 24:36.01, followed by Christian Meyer in 10th at 24:36.07, redshirt freshman Jefferson Abbey in 11th (24:36.24), Alex Muntefering in 14th (24:39.57), Jacob Morgan in 25th (25:00.07), Adam Hartman in 32nd (25:23.05), Alex Balsiger in 39th (25:35.11) and Gus Waneka in 47th (26:03.34).
The second-place finish is the highest for the men since 2005. The top five individual’s times were counted toward the team score. New Mexico was once again crowned champions, and Air Force took third place, paced by individual winner Isaiah Bragg.
“It was our best race of the year,” Head Coach Art Siemers said. “New Mexico can finish anywhere from forth to eighth at Nationals. To have a 7-second spread between your first and your fifth runner is pretty unheard of. Our men just really responded well with the competition. Obviously, we wanted to win and make history there, but we gave New Mexico a scare and we’re going into the regional with some confidence and then hopefully perform really well at the national level.”
On the women’s side the Rams’ captured a third place team finish, edging out fourth-place Air Force by just one point. New Mexico repeated as champions, and Boise State, led by Emma Bates, placed second.
“We’re really proud of how the team ran today,” added Siemers. “We struggled this year, so we knew we had to get everything on the right page in the last few weeks. They stuck by each other and worked really hard, and it paid off today. Beating Air Force, which is the sixth-ranked team in the region, is a good step for us.”
Senior Whitney Henderson was the Rams’ top finisher in the 6K with a time of 22:25.25, coming in 19th overall. Six of the nine runners all finished within 30 seconds of each other. Alex Hess clocked 22:29.04 (21st), followed by Chloe Phillips at 22:31.86 (23rd), Kaitlin Hanenburg at 22:40.09 (27th), Sanne Holland at 22:51.20 (31st), Laura Yarrow at 22:52.62 (33rd), Ali Will at 23:00.58 (38th), Marina Roberts at 23:03.92 (39th) and Karlee Schwartzkopf at 23:44.96 (53rd).
The top seven finishers from each race earned first-team all-Mountain West honors, and the next seven earned second-team. The CSU men were awarded five all-conference accolades, the most in Mountain West history.
Meyer finishes his career at Colorado State as a three-time all-conference award winner in cross country, with second-team honors last season and first-team honors in 2011. Fellow senior Muntefering is also a multiple all-conference recipient, earning a spot on the first team last season.
The Rams’ Sanne Holland earned the league’s Freshman of the Year award for clocking the best time among all freshmen in the women’s race. This is the first time since 2007’s Allison Gohl that CSU has won the rookie award.
Siemers was impress with Holland’s time. “Sanne Holland being Freshman of the Year bodes well for the future.”
CSU Men’s First-Team All-Mountain West
Women’s Freshman of the Year
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