Saturday’s meet showcases new talent
As time trials for the CU men’s and women’s cross country teams wrapped up Saturday, the proof was in the numbers — team leadership is off to a good start.
The men’s race began at 8:30 a.m., and placed CU men in six of the top eight finishing spots. Senior Peter Janson came in first for CU, and second overall, completing the 8,000-meter loop in 26:38. Senior Stephen Pifer took fourth place overall, and behind him by one second was senior Brent Vaughn in fifth.
Pifer said team leadership is the cross country program’s biggest advantage this year.
“Our No. 1 strength is our leadership,” said Pifer. “We have three fifth-year seniors.”
Pifer is referring to himself, Vaughn and Janson, who, he said, are looking forward to guiding the new runners who may be nervous about picking up the pace.
“[Vaughn and I] have both been here before and we have a lot of guys who I think can contribute this year,” Pifer said. “We can keep them calm and help them realize it’s not much different than high school.”
One noted freshman, Richard Medina, clocked 26:38 at the trials yesterday.
But the most important focus for Pifer is setting goals — and reaching them — especially after a strong season last year that may be putting some pressure on the men’s team.
“We have goals for the team and if we meet those goals, we have succeeded,” said Pifer, who finished twentieth at the national cross country competition in Terre Haute, Ind., last year. “I want to finish as high as I can at nationals this year — I’m hoping for top 10.”
According to a release, the women’s team ran at 9:15 and saw a finish similar to the runners on the men’s team.
Six of the top 10 places in Saturday’s women’s race were CU uniforms, and the other four top 10 finishers were CU harriers who were unattached for the meet.
Junior Jennifer Hooper finished the trial third overall and finished the 5,800-meter course in 23:07.
Sophomore Rachel Gioscia was fourth, finishing just one second later (23:08). Junior redshirt, Sara Vaughn, was fifth in her first race (23:08) and fifth-year senior and captain Erin Marston was sixth with the same time.
Cross country head coach Mark Wetmore was unreachable for comment on the upcoming season, but said in the same CU release that he was “pleasantly surprised” at the finishes from both teams.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Jimmy Himes at James.Himes@colorado.edu.