Amanda Mergaert captures third at Stanford Invitational.
Sept. 29, 2012
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Making her season debut, senior Amanda Mergaert captured third place leading the University of Utah women’s cross country team to its second consecutive fourth-place finish at the six-kilometer Stanford Invitational.
“This was a solid day for us,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “We finished in the top-four just barely missing our goal of the top-three, but we ran well today. Our front group did a very good job; we just need to work on closing the gap between groups. Overall I am pleased and this provided great practice for the Pre-National meet in two weeks.”
In her first race of the season, Mergaert led the charge for the Utes. Staying with the leaders throughout the entire race, Mergaert finished third overall setting a four-second personal best performance for the course with a time of 20:23. Coming down the final stretch, Mergaert was unable to hold the second spot over Stanford’s Cayla Hatton, but she was able to edge Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe for third.
Finishing second for the Utes and tenth overall was sophomore Susannah Hurst. Entering the final portion of the race, Hurst was in the middle of the pack. However, she suddenly found a burst of speed and was able to catch up with the lead pack setting a lifetime-best performance and recording a time of 21:14.
Sophomore Giselle Slotboom crossed the line third for the Utes in a time of 21:33. Slotboom also had a burst of speed on the final stretch as she passed six runners to secure 18th place. Andrea Chavez was not far behind, finishing fourth for the team and 50th overall in a time of 22:04.
Overall the Utes finished fourth place out of 29 teams with a combined score of 168 points. The University of Stanford won the meet title with a team score of 25 points.
“We found some things that we need to work on,” Kepler said. “We will go back to practice and work on those, especially closing the gap between runners before we head to Louisville.”
The Utes will take a week off before returning to competition on October 13 at the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky.
Full results from the Stanford Invitational are available at: http://www.rtspt.com/events/stanford/xcinvite12/w6k_res.htm