Cross CountrySports

He’s back: Puskedra wins

40.2 minutes.

Whatever disappointment Luke Puskedra had left over from the Bill Dellinger Invitational two weeks ago was left behind, along with the rest of the pack, at the Pre-National Invitational Saturday.

The sophomore from Ogden, Utah, who finished 11th at the Dellinger after finishing third last year, completed the 8,000m run in 23:40.2, besting Butler’s Andy Baker by five seconds to win the Pre-Nationals men’s Blue Race at LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

The No. 7 Oregon men won the team race with 79 points, holding off No. 3 Alabama (114 points) and No. 2 Northern Arizona (115) to win the team race.

In the women’s Blue Race, true freshman Jordan Hasay showed no qualms about racing the 6,000m course, finishing third in 20:33.0, behind Colorado’s Jenny Barringer (19:50.9) and Florida State’s Susan Kuijken (20:20.8). The 19th-ranked Buffaloes, behind Barringer’s strong performance, took home the Blue Race team title with 94 points, ahead of the 11th-ranked Seminoles (135 points) and the fourth-ranked Ducks (169).

The Pacific-10 Conference showed particularly well in the Pre-Nationals, as the top-ranked Stanford men and Washington women both won team titles in the men’s and women’s White Races to go with the Oregon men’s Blue Race individual title.

The Oregon men saw two other runners finish in the top 15 in Danny Mercado (sixth, 23:59.6) and Kenny Klotz (11th, 24:05.3). Matthew Centrowitz (27th, 24:22.8) and Diego Mercado (34th, 24:27.9) also scored for the Ducks, who saw each of their seven runners finish among the first quarter of the field.

For the women, Oregon’s Nicole Blood, coming off a 15th-place finish at the Dellinger, crossed the finish line in 12th place in 20:47.8. Claire Michel (26th place, 21:15.1, Bronwyn Crossman (51st, 21:36.9) and Alex Kosinski (77th, 21:53.9) rounded out the Duck scorers.
A.J. Acosta (41st, 24:37.8) and freshman Mac Fleet (52nd, 24:42.3) also competed for the men, while Taylor Wallace (87th, 21:57.3) and Lauren Zaludek (98th, 22:04.0) also competed for the women in Terre Haute.

Mike Hodges Invitational

Anne Kesselring made her first collegiate cross country race an experience to remember.
The freshman from Nürnberg, Germany, finished the 5,000m women’s race at the Mike Hodges Invitational in 17:51 for the individual title, and four other Ducks finished in the top 11 to secure the team title with 22 points.

On the men’s side, sophomore Bryce Burgess was the Ducks’ top finisher, taking second to Xavier’s Tommy Kauffman in 19:56. Redshirt junior Kevin McNally came in third place in 20:07, followed by a string of unattached Duck runners — redshirt sophomore Chris Kwiatkowski (sixth, 20:17) and freshmen Mitchell Hunt (seventh, 20:17) and Ben DeJarnette (eighth, 20:21).

In addition to Kesselring, freshmen Sarah Penney (fifth, 18:08) and Becca Friday (11th, 18:24) and seniors Brooke Giuffre (third, 17:59) and Bria Wetsch (seventh, 18:10) also competed for the women. Redshirt juniors Eric Dettman (16th, 20:32), David Bondi (28th, 20:52) and Ken Scoggin (34th, 21:04) and redshirt freshman Walker Augustyniak (47th, 21:31) also competed for the Oregon men.

The UO Running Club men and women both sent teams to Clackamas Community College on Friday for the Mike Hodges. The top three men’s finishers were John Boosinger (33rd, 21:02), Gino Gaddini (60th, 21:52) and Calvin Brawner (61st, 21:56). The top three women’s finishers were Taylor Smiley (54th, 19:59), Ashley Kirsininkas 85th, 20:50) and Kalin Sommer (104th, 21:57).

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