Individual win by Cheserek leads Ducks to victory at Pre-Nationals
The Oregon men’s team thought it had placed third behind Arkansas and Colorado, after the women’s team had achieved second place earlier that morning at the Pre-National Cross Country Invitational in Terra Haute, Indiana.
However, after further review, it was discovered that Sam Prakel’s name was accidentally left off of the results. His 36th place finish propelled Oregon to their first Pre-Nationals victory since 2009 with 85 points.
Senior Edward Cheserek, who won the race in 2014, continued his dominance by crossing the line in 23 minutes, 34.65 seconds to capture his 15th win in his last 17 races. Early in the race, Cheserek took off with a pack of runners. However, about halfway through the race, Cheserek began to break away, even turning around to wave at his fellow competitors to try to get them to match his pace.
None did. Arkansas senior Frankline Tonui tried to narrow the gap in the final straightaway, but Cheserek was too far ahead. He finished in second with a time of 23:56.1, giving Arkansas a second-place finish with 110 points. He was followed by Campbell senior Amon Terer in third place in 23:58.5.
Despite the fact it had only one finisher in the top 20 — a 15th-place finish by sophomore Ryan Forsyth — Colorado finished in third with 124 points. This is because four more of Colorado’s runners finished in the top 30.
Oregon sophomores Matthew Maton and Tanner Anderson both finished in the top 20. Maton placed fourth in 24:07.7, while Anderson finished in 18th with a time of 24:22.9. After a disappointing freshman season, Maton, the Oregon High School State Cross Country record holder, has redeemed himself by finishing fourth in both of his races this year after an excellent debut at the Washington Invitational.
Freshman Levi Thomet and junior Bryan Fernandez also raced for the Ducks. Thomet finished in 26th in 24:29.5 and Fernandez finished in 148th in 25:38.8.
As for the women’s race, Michigan senior Erin Finn dominated the field, effortlessly winning in 19:44.7 and helping Michigan to a third-place finish with 179.4 points. Colorado was the winner with a 93 points and Oregon followed with 154.3.
Five minutes into the race, Finn pulled out in front, distancing herself from the rest of the field. She maintained her position for the entirety of the race. She came into the final stretch a commanding 20 seconds before Cal Poly freshman Peyton Bilo, who would eventually finish third with a time of 20:11.47 after being outraced by Colorado senior Erin Clark, who crossed the line in 20:08.4.
Two Oregon runners placed in the top 15. Freshman Katie Rainsberger was the top finisher in sixth place with a time of 20.19.04 and redshirt senior Samantha Nadel finished 13th in 20:28.66. Rainsberger was coming off of her first collegiate race at the Washington Invitational, where she placed second.
Oregon sophomore Jessica Hull ran in 20:50.6, good enough for 34th. She was followed by Alli Cash in 48th, Maggie Schmaedick in 53rd, Emma Abrahamson in 67th and Ashley Maton in 98th.
On Oct. 28, the Ducks will start the championship portion of the season with the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03
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