Oct. 18, 2013
Women's University Results | Men's University Results | Women's College Results
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Exciting performances from top to bottom highlighted the women’s final regular season meet this year at today’s Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, IL. The ladies now look forward to making a strong showing at the SEC Championships in two weeks. Also hitting the course today was a contingent of the men’s team in the University Division 8k race.
“The challenge today was to see if we could execute a race plan,” said third-year Head Coach Joe Lynn. “We wanted to not be distracted or get caught up in the first half of the race with what’s going on around us, but rather focus on ourselves and be smart the first half knowing that we’d have to be tough the second half.”
Starting off for the black and gold was the women’s open race, with the pack of gold leading the way to place 2-3-4-5-6-10. First across the line for the women in the open race was junior Landon Wachter, who placed second with her 22:26 final time. Close behind was junior Brianna Westervelt and senior Marie O’Leary who clocked in at 22:32 and 22:50, respectively.
“The ladies in the open race did a really good job of getting [the race plan] going for us and really served as a springboard for the other two races in terms of confidence,” said Lynn. “Landon obviously ran a really spirited race. Was really proud of Brianna Westervelt
, and it was good to see Marie O’Leary finishing up really strong today.”
The freshmen trio of Bailey Hession, Kayla Friesen, and Teylar Adelsberger closed out the Tiger women in the open race, crossing in 22:50, 22:52, and 23:09, respectively.
“All of them ran really well today, and I was really happy with how they competed,” said Lynn.
Next up was the men in the University Division 8k, with freshman Tom Rotondi leading the way for the black and gold.
“That was a big breakthrough for Tom,” said Lynn about Rotondi’s 25:29 finish for 53rd overall. “Tim Johnson also really stuck his nose in there and ran a really strong, focused race. This was huge race for Will Crocker, too, who’s not a cross country guy but showed today that he could be in the future.”
Johnson was the second man in for the Tigers, crossing in 25:45 for 77th, followed closely by Crocker in 25:53 for 87th. The top five was rounded out by freshman Tyler Rusboldt in 26:07 for 113th and senior Jon Hughes in 26:33 for 144th.
“This race was a great opportunity for the guys to run in a varsity setting where they’re going to be counted upon to score points,” said Lynn. “This was a big confidence-builder for them, and I was really proud of how the 800-meter guys came out and really got out of the comfort zone.”
Rounding out the afternoon’s races was the women’s University Division 6k. The ladies packed up well, putting in five in the field’s top 30 to take the team win with 65 points.
“For the ladies in the University Race, wow. It was a really smart, really tough race for a group of girls that is mostly made up of underclassmen,” said Lynn. “We talk about competing to the line and I feel like we did that as a whole today, everyone was passing at the end.”
Taking the lead for the Tigers was freshman Kaitlyn Fischer, who has now finished first for the black and gold in three of her four races this year. Fischer finished 3rd overall in 20:57.
“Really proud of Kaitlyn,” said Lynn. “She ran really tough up front by herself most of the way.”
Next up was junior Liz Reida, who had led the squad two weeks ago at the Notre Dame Invitational. She finished 6th overall today, navigating the course in 21:11. Freshman Nicole Mello stepped up to be the third Tiger in, crossing in 21:32 for 16th overall. Close behind her was junior Courtney Brown, who placed 21st in 21:39, followed by freshman Kaelyn Balch in 26th at 21:43.
“Nicole ran really tough for us, and that was big for her to step up like that today and be our No. 3 girl,” said Lynn. “This was a big confidence-builder for Courtney Brown, being able to run great close to home. And it was good to have Kaelyn back and feeling good, looking strong today.”
Coming in 30th for the Tigers was freshman Libby Luciani, who made some big moves in the final mile of the race to move from the tenth to the sixth spot on the team. Sophomore Sam Garrett was next, followed by freshman Megan Cunningham, junior Ali Ross, and freshman Kayla Wolf to put the Tiger’s top ten within the top 50 of the field. Junior Courtney Wood and freshman Brooke Wolfe rounded out the black and gold, bringing all 12 in under 22:20.
“I’ve said since June that we’d be our best in November, and that’s what we’ve been shooting for – SEC’s in two weeks and Regionals in four. We’re a strength team and today really showed the girls what we’ve been preaching all along with being patient, confident, and strong,” said Lynn. “So if we can continue to grow, mature, and get stronger these next two, four, hopefully five weeks, I think we’ll see some really good stuff from our group at the season’s end.”
The Tigers are back in action tomorrow as the rest of the men’s team takes on the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison, WI. Races are set to go off at 11:00 a.m. at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.