Cross CountrySports

Women's cross country looks to build on last year's success, men hope to bounce back into title contention

After a summer that saw 10 former Ducks — including four who competed in cross country at Oregon — participate in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the attention of Track Town USA once again turns to the Ducks’ cross country team.

Placing fifth in last season’s national championship — their highest finish in three years — the women’s cross country team is expected to finish near the top of the pack at this year’s championships in Louisville, Ky. The No. 2-ranked women (they were top-ranked for the first two weeks of the season until the Washington women took over the top spot last week) bring back senior Jordan Hasay, the runner-up last year, who looks to add to her impressive collegiate resume that includes two NCAA championships and 14 All-America nods. Fellow seniors Anne Kesselring, who won the Pier Park Invitational Sept. 1, and Sarah Penney will also compete for top finishes this year.

The No. 22 men’s team is looking to rebuild after a couple of disappointing years. NCAA champions in 2007 and 2008 and the runners-up in 2009, the men have had struggled to break into the top five in the years since. Sophomore Cole Watson, junior Ben DeJarnette and sophomore Daniel Winn are looking to reverse the men’s fortunes, going 1-2-3 in the Pier Park Invitational to start off the year.

The Ducks’ lone home meet of the season is the Bill Dellinger Invitational Sept. 29 at Springfield Country Club.

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McKenna Brown

McKenna Brown