Colorado State men’s and women’s cross country teams capitalized on the opportunity to run in front of their home crowd Friday by finishing first and second respectively at the CSU Invite.
Senior Andrew Goodman set the tone for the men’s team by finishing fourth overall in the 5K race with a time of 14 minutes and 43 seconds. Transfer Chris Ganem took eighth place with a time of 15 minutes flat. Grant Fischer finished just one second behind him in tenth place followed by senior Byron Jones (15:03), junior Adam Hartman (15:04), junior Ricardo Kaempfen (15:06) and senior Joe Marchand (15:07).
“I’m really pleased with the small pack split, especially on a rainy day and the first meet of the year,” coach Art Siemers said.
The Rams played host to a number of schools from throughout the state. Siemers was glad to see his team competing with Colorado, whose men’s team was ranked first in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason cross country rankings.
“They ran a few of their top kids, so for us to see where we stand with them was a great start,” Siemers said.
The women’s team was led by sophomore Rachael Rudel, who finished third place with a time of 17:16. Freshman Darby Gilfillan posted a time of 17:31 for a fifth place finish.
“Rachael was phenomenal in her first cross country meet in a Rams uniform,” Siemers said. “Darby went out a little too aggressive, but for her first meet, she ran really well.”
Junior Ali Will finished in 18 minutes flat for an eighth place finish. Sophomore McKenna Spillar finished just a second later to give the Rams four top ten runners on the women’s side. CSU had three more runners who finished top 15 in junior Laura Yarrow (18:13), freshman Mary Franke (18:16), and sophomore Karlee Schwartzkopf (18:18).
Colorado boasted first and second place finishers, making them the only team to best the Rams as a whole.
Friday was a tune-up for CSU cross country before their next meet on September 27 when they travel to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at @EmmettCollegian.