Cross CountrySports

Ducks celebrate two third-place finishers

Nick Cote

Sophomore Jordan Hasay and junior Luke Puskedra each collected bronze medals for third-place individual finishes at the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday morning.

The Oregon men’s and women’s teams, however, ended up falling off the podium.

Despite a pair of All-American performances from Alex Kosinski (19th) in the women’s race and Matthew Centrowitz (10th) in the men’s race, the No. 3 men finished the day in sixth place and the No. 6 women finished the day in 12th place.

The LaVern Gibson Championship Course enjoyed dry weather and temperatures in the 60s, making for excellent racing conditions.

“Other than the wind, it was in perfect conditions. Not sloppy, not muddy,” Centrowitz said. “We tried to stay close together in the pack (to block the wind).”

Hasay becomes the fourth Oregon woman in history to record a top-three individual finish at the national meet.

Kathy Hayes (1983) and Lisa Karnopp (1991) were both third-place finishers; Leann Warren took second place in 1981.

Villanova (120 points) captured its second consecutive national title behind a standout performance from junior Sheila Reid, who completed the 6,000-meter course in 20:06.9 to win the individual national title.

Following her across were Georgetown junior Emily Infeld (20:09.2), Hasay (20:13.0), UTEP sophomore Risper Kimaiyo (20:16.1) and Texas Tech junior Rose Tanui (20:17.6).

Kosinski clocked in at 20:32.6 for the third All-America honor of her career.

Oregon’s final scorers struggled through the packed field, with senior Zoe Buckman capping her cross country career with an 81st-place finish (21:11.5) as the Ducks’ No. 3 runner.

Redshirt junior Claire Michel (168th, 21:54.0) and redshirt freshman Lanie Thompson (207th, 22:18.9) were Oregon’s other two scorers; freshman Sarah Andrews (233rd, 22:54.6) and sophomore Anne Kesselring (235th, 22:56.7) also competed.

Florida State (154 points) was the runner-up to the Wildcats, followed by Texas Tech (165), Georgetown (167) and New Mexico (227).

In the 10,000-meter men’s race, Puskedra darted out to the front early and attempted to work off Liberty’s Sam Chelanga and Arizona’s Stephen Sambu.

“He’s had a great season. To see him end on a high note — we’re obviously happy for him,” Centrowitz said. “He’s worked hard.”

Centrowitz secured a spot in a secondary pack behind the leaders at the start of the race. He worked behind other runners, shielded from the whipping winds, to finish in 30:01.1.

“One of my goals (coming in) was a top-10 finish,” he said. “To actually do it was a thing to check off my to-do list … it feels good.”

Senior Danny Mercado recorded a 61st-place finish for the Ducks (30:41.5), but, as with the women’s race, the last four runners struggled with the field. Freshman Parker Stinson (121st, 31:21.6) wound up the fourth Oregon scorer when the dust settled, with senior A.J. Acosta (161st, 31:42.0) as the Ducks’ fifth.

Though head coach Vin Lananna brought eight runners to Terra Haute for the meet, only five raced.

Oklahoma State also took home its second straight NCAA title with 73 points and three runners among the top seven.

The Florida State men (193 points) added a second runner-up team trophy to the Seminoles’ haul, and Wisconsin (223 points) came in third.

Stanford (237 points) and Oklahoma (281) rounded out the top five.

“Team-wise, people are down,” Centrowitz said. “Some individuals didn’t perform as well. In cross country it’s so hard to time it to be your day.”

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