Cross CountrySports

Oregon men, women victorious at Dellinger Invitational

The individual title had to go to somebody, but Luke Puskedra and Matthew Centrowitz were more than willing to share it.

The junior Puskedra and the senior Centrowitz held hands aloft in victory as the two crossed the finish line of the Bill Dellinger Invitational men’s race on Saturday morning.

Oregon senior Danny Mercado charged hard over the last 1,000 meters of the 8,000-meter race to take third place, capping his run with a ferocious yell.

When the dust settled, Centrowitz had been declared the winner by two hundredths of a second (23:38.11 to 23:38.13) over Puskedra to become the first Oregon man to win the Dellinger in its five year history.

“I don’t know how I was first,” Centrowitz said. “I’m pretty sure Luke is the true winner.”

Mercado (23:42.15) was followed across the finish line at Pre’s Trail in Alton Baker Park by four Wisconsin Badgers: Maverick Darling, Landon Peacock, Elliot Krause and Reed Connor. The expected dual meet between the No. 3 Ducks and No. 11 Badgers played out as such.

But thanks to strong performances from redshirt junior Chris Kwiatkowski (ninth, 23:58.75) and freshman Parker Stinson (11th, 24:08.15), Oregon came away with the team victory. The Ducks finished with 26 points to the Badgers’ 38, followed by the University of Guelph with 75 points.

Head cross country coach Vin Lananna was enthusiastic about the performance but acknowledged that “we have a lot of things to kind of figure out.”

“We do need to make sure we’re a little closer with our pack,” he said. “We’ll have it together by the Pac-10s, I hope.”

Senior A.J. Acosta (24:13.39) and redshirt freshman Ben DeJarnette (24:13.49) finished just outside of scoring, in 12th and 13th places, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Bryce Burgess (29th, 24:47.21) gave the Ducks eight runners in the top 30 for the meet.

Also competing for Oregon were Mitch Hunt (31st, 24:54.87), Ken Scoggin (32nd, 24:59.22), Brian Shrader (33rd, 25:00.80) and Tim Costin (37th, 25:10.63). Freshmen Colby Alexander (38th, 25:11.14) and Cole Watson (55th, 26:00.35) competed unattached.

Hasay, Kosinski lead Duck women

As with the men’s race, the 6,000-meter women’s race came down to two Oregon runners for the individual title. This time, Lananna had some on-course instruction for the Ducks.

“Finish together. Don’t hold hands,” senior Alex Kosinski recalled.

Kosinski and sophomore Jordan Hasay did indeed finish together — without holding hands — but the individual title ended up going to Hasay (19:25.31), denying Kosinski (19:25.33) a second consecutive Dellinger title.

“Jordan and Alex looked great the whole way,” Lananna said.

The No. 2 women won the team title with 18 points, as senior Zoe Buckman (20:05.64), sophomore Anne Kesselring (20:08.34) and redshirt freshman Lanie Thompson (20:09.88) finished fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, to round out Oregon’s scorers.

“We were just trying to put out a solid performance and kind of practice for the championship races coming up,” Hasay said. “I think we did that. Everyone ran tough and we felt good. As far as Alex and I, we just practiced trying to run up front together (and) staying relaxed.”

The University of Guelph took second with 59 points, 15 ahead of Idaho. Rachel Cliff finished third to Hasay and Kosinski in 19:50.44 to lead the Gryphons, with Courtney Laurie coming in seventh (20:16.62).

Junior Bronwyn Crossman (ninth, 20:33.39) and redshirt junior Claire Michel (10th, 20:37.91) added to the Ducks’ list of top-10 finishers, while sophomore Becca Friday took 11th place (20:46.61)

Oregon freshmen Sarah Andrews (12th, 20:46.99) and Megan Patrignelli (31st, 21:27.29) also competed unattached.

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