Nov. 15, 2013
OGDEN, Utah – Running among the stiffest competition in the nation, the Colorado State men’s cross country team did something it hasn’t done in nine years on Friday, qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Although it won’t be official until the NCAA announces it tomorrow, the CSU men’s team is expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
“This is a really tough region,” commented Head Coach Art Siemers. “We hung in there with the main pack as long as we could. We should be the 27th (ranked) team to go to the championship. That’s our goal, to make it to nationals every year.”
The men’s team placed sixth overall with a team score of 153. It was seniors Christian Meyer and Alex Muntefering who paced the squad this time, each of whom earned all-region honors for placing among the top 25 runners individually.
The men ran a 10-Kilometer race, the longest course they’ve ran all season. Meyer clocked 29 minutes, 59.6 seconds to finish 20th, followed by Muntefering in 24th with a time of 30:06.2. Not far behind was Ben Larson in 29th place (30:11.8), Jacob Morgan in 34th (30:17.8), Jefferson Abbey in 46th (30:35.0), Andrew Goodman in 54th (30:52.3) and Adam Hartman in 86th (32:05.8).
“The men’s team did what we needed to do,” added Siemers. “The competition was so strong, we really showed how much of team we are. Andrew Goodman struggled today, but Jacob Morgan and Jeff Abbey really picked it up. We ran really well.”
Running a 6K, the women’s squad placed 10th overall with a team score of 302. Three seniors, led by Kaitlin Hanenburg, took the top three spots for the team. Hanenburg clocked a season-best time of 21:35.5, finishing 39th. Transfer Chloe Phillips finished her collegiate career in 48th place with a time of 21:43.9, followed by Whitney Henderson in 55th (21:52.5). Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Sanne Holland, placed 73rd (22:10.3), Marina Roberts took 87th (22:25.8), Alex Hess finished 94th (22:31.4) and Laura Yarrow placed 100th (22:36.0).
“The women had to overcome sickness and injuries earlier this season, but they ran hard,” added Siemers. “They put all on the line, but faded a little in the end.”
The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team automatically moved on to the NCAA Championships. Northern Arizona’s men’s team and Colorado’s women’s team took home the regional titles. New Mexico’s Sammy Silva finished first in the women’s race with a time of 20:29.3, and Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka clocked the best time in the men’s race at 29:23.6.
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