Sunday, October 24, 2010

Steady progress gives RSU cross country confidence boosters

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RSU’s inaugural men’s and women’s cross country teams battled through challenging courses and fatigue while still managing to improve on personal times in the recent month.

RSU cross country ran at the OBU Bison Cross Country Invitational in Shawnee, Okla. A much flatter course compared to the hills of the OSU meet.

Seven out of eight Hillcat men completed the race all improving their personal best times. Leading the way for RSU was Brandon Payne crossing the finish line under 27 minutes.

Oscar Reyes finished the race improving his time by 30 seconds and redshirt freshman Jarrett Sanders finished over seven seconds faster than his personal best.

On the women’s side Breana Harrison and Tiffany Russell competed impressively in the OBU meet. Harrison ran a personal best by over a minute and Russell ran a personal best by 50 seconds. Both were happy with their performance.

“I think it just helps to build confidence and motivation as well as to try to beat that time and just keep improving,” Harrison said.

Battling through fatigue Kendall Clement and Jessie Zingo were still able to lead the Hillcat women through the 5k event.

In gearing up for the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark., the Hillcats had to prepare for their longest meet ever prepared. The men ran a 10k event and the women ran a 6k. The meet was also the largest for the Hillcats with over 900 runners and up to 30 NCAA Division I schools in attendance.

Junior Caleb Clark led the Hillcat men with a strong performance finishing 113th in the individual competition with a time of 31:53 out of 463 runners.

Clark started the race falling early to the back of the pack but in his remaining 5k, the junior runner kicked it into high gear catching over 100 runners.

“It wasn’t the best race strategy, I should have tried to get out a little faster but it ended up working out,” said Clark.

The good showing earned Clark the distinction of the sixth place finisher of NAIA in attendance.

Sanders also competed in the 10k event completing the race with a time of 34:1 for a 290th place finish as an unattached runner. Rounding out the Hillcat men’s contingent were freshmen Brandon Payne and Oscar Reyes. Payne finished with a time of 35:05 for a 353th placing with Reyes finishing 307th, with a time of 36:04.

Zingo led the Hillcat women with a time of 21:55 placing 427th. Clement finished the 6K course in 22:22 for a 433rd placing out of the 470 competitors in the Festival.

Harrison completed the course in a time of 22:51 finishing 441st while Russell placed 460th with a time of 25:07

The Hillcats will travel to Ada, Okla. for the East Central Tiger Chase on October 23rd to close out the regular season schedule before heading to the SAC regional tournament Nov. 6th.

Update: For results of the East Central Tiger Chase meet visit athletic website
In Photo: Junior Caleb Clark
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