Utes claim 33rd overall at Pre-Nationals Meet.
Oct. 16, 2010
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Led by Amanda Mergaert's 32nd-place finish, the University of Utah women's cross country team earned 33rd overall (812 points), Saturday at the six-kilometer NCAA Pre-Nationals meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The Utes finished 33rd as a team with 812 points, in the White Race, edging Washington State by 14 points. The Utes also finished ahead of Utah Valley, Air Force, and Southern Utah. The overall winner of the White Race was Georgetown with 100 points.
"The first 600 meters of the race cost us between five and 10 team positions. We were not aggressive at the start of the race," commented Utah head coach Kyle Kepler.
Mergaert set a new personal-record time by completing the course with a time of 21:05.8, which was good for 32nd. Mergaert has led the Utes in every race she has competed in this season.
"Mergaert had the best race of her career," said Kepler. "I am very happy for her."
Crossing the line second for Utah was Jenny McCune with a time of 22:22.9, which was good for 165th overall. Rebekah Winterton set a new personal-record time with 22:29.7 for 176th. Earning 219th overall with a time of 23:00.8 was Alexis Laws. The final Ute runner to receive points was sophomore Megan Combe with a time of 23:01.7 (220th).
"Today the kids learned a valuable lesson about starting races hard. This was the first race of this magnitude for all of our runners. It is important to focus more on beating people over the race and not so much beating times. This was a good learning experience," said Kepler.
Utah continues its season Friday, Oct. 29 in Laramie, Wyo., at the Mountain West Conference Championships.