Women place first and men second in cross country's Dellinger Invitational
The University of Oregon men’s and women’s cross country teams each found a place on the podium in the seventh-annual Bill Dellinger Invitational at the Springfield Country Club on Saturday. Both teams were wearing pink and white uniforms in recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.@@[email protected]@
The women’s squad headed into their only home meet for the season ranked third in the nation, finishing first-place overall in the 5,000-meter race with 18 points. Following in second was Southern Utah with 73 points, and Gonzaga was third with 87 points.
Senior Alexi Pappas finished first overall with a final time of 16:23 — only less than a second shy of the course record. Pappas, who did her undergraduate work at Dartmouth, gained a fifth year of eligibility for cross country and is now a graduate student at UO.
“I have really been looking forward to this race because this is a place where there is so much love for the sport and it is incredible…it’s good to be a Duck,” Pappas said. She also spoke about the depth and talent of the team as a whole: “I don’t know who will be in the top five or seven from race to race, but I imagine it will change because it is such a dynamic team, and everyone is bringing a different piece to the puzzle.”
Freshman Annie Leblanc finished third with a time of 16:59, while seniors Sarah Penney (5th; 17:02), Katie Conlon (6th; 17:03), and Jordan Hasay (7th; 17:04) all finished with top times to help lead the team to an overall victory.
“For the Pier Park Invitational, we went into that race really calm, and we wanted to do the same thing today,” said fifth-place finisher Penney. “It’s all about the team; we make sure we all talk to each other. There is a lot of teamwork going on.”
The men’s cross country team came into the meet No. 23 in the nation. They finished in second place in the 8,000-meter race with a total team score of 49 points. However, it was the third-ranked BYU Cougars that took the first place victory with 32 points.
“We knew going in that BYU was a good team, and it’s always hard coming out there when you are an underdog, but I think we are moving forward and are excited for the future,” Trevor Dunbar said. Dunbar, a senior transfer from Portland, was the first-place finisher with the top time of 23:38. “We knew there was no room for error, and we wanted to be there at the end with them.”
Helping the Ducks with their overall team score was junior Ben DeJarnette, who finished in third with a time of 23:49. “It was really a team focus today,” said DeJarnette. “We weren’t breaking it down individually, we wanted to pack up the team. I don’t know if we did that as well as we need to if we want to be a top-five team in the country. But, we certainly took steps in the right direction for the first half of the race.”
This is the third consecutive win for the women at the Dellinger Invitational, while the men were last victorious in 2010. Both teams now look to the Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky., on October 13.
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