Utah cross country has a dominating performance at Montana State Invitational.
Sept. 15, 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Capping off a dominating performance, the University of Utah women's cross country team goes 5-0 in the dual team scoring at the Montana State Invitational. The Utes were led by freshman Giselle Slotboom's fifth-place performance.
"I was really impressed with the way we performed today," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We talked about coming out and competing hard at our team meeting last night, and we did a really good job of that today. I felt we ran a really tough race, especially in the middle portion. Our team ran well together, they stayed in groups for the first two-thirds then broke off and ran as well as they could the remainder of the race. That strategy helped give our athletes confidence and security, which led to some great performances."
Utah's top-five finishers, all finished within forty three seconds of each other, which included three runners crossing the line in the top-10 overall. Leading the surge was Slotboom with a fifth-place performance clocking a time of 17:36. Crossing second for the team and eighth overall was Andrea Chavez with a time of 17:44. The third Utah runner to finish was Susannah Hurst posting a time of 17:50 for ninth.
Rounding out the top five finishers for the team were Charlotte Kuzminsky (16th) clocking an 18:10 and Nikki Rietz (24th) crossing the line in a time of 18:19.
Utah finished the day with a 5-0 record in the dual scoring system, which takes the top-five runners from each team and scores them against the top-five finishers from another school and the lower score wins. The Utes beat Utah State(27-28), Montana State(26-29), Wyoming(25-30), Northern Colorado(20-41), and Montana(16-45).
Unofficially the Utes won the overall team scoring, edging out Montana State 54-56.
"This was the best race we have ran all year," Kepler said. "Our team didn't try to do too much, but just did what they could do and that was all I asked for. It was a good performance and at the end of the day, the Utes were victorious as a team."
The Utah cross country team will take a week off before returning to competition on Sept. 29 at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Making her season debut at the next race will be three-time NCAA qualifier Amanda Mergaert.