SPARKS, Nev. -
The University of Nevada cross country team placed second at the Nature's Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic Saturday night at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, Nev.
"The team is learning how to play the game at a high level," head coach Kirk Elias said. "We really missed having Caitlin Devitt-Payne and Mariah Gramolini in there, but other than that we started clicking."
Nevada competed against 29th ranked national power (and 3rd regionally) BYU, regionally ranked Utah (6th), and in-state and conference foe UNLV in the collegiate open race which was one of 11 races conducted as a part of the Twilight event. The other races were all high school or junior high school-level races.
BYU took first place in the collegiate race with 24 points. Nevada claimed second with 38 points, followed by Utah with 83 points and UNLV with 102. Nevada junior Samantha Diaz won the individual honors, finishing first and setting a new Twilight Classic course record with a time of 14:32. Diaz broke the previous record of 14:41 that was set by Utah's Alyssa Abbott during the 2011 season. The time was alaso a personal best and good for the Nevada program's top spot in the record books. Sophomore Demerey Kirsch also finished in the top five with a time of 14:51 to take fourth.
"Until the last 400 we were going 1-2 on the 29th ranked team nationally," Elias said. These gals can be good. They are beginning to realize it."
The team will have two weeks over before traveling to Springfield, Ore. to participate in the Dellinger Invitational at the Springfield Country Club on Sept. 29.