Oct. 1, 2012
RENO, Nev. -
The nine woman Nevada Wolf Pack cross country squad left the Dellinger Invitational with an impressive six new Personal Records. With a slew of PRs, it is clear the team is improving, but to move up the ranks, sharpening race skills will become the focus of the young squad over the next month leading into the conference championship.
With temperatures moving into the upper 60sF/17-18C on a sunny Saturday morning, the gently rolling Springfield Country Club, home of the host Oregon’s cross country course, was a beautiful venue for the first major cross country meet of the season for the Wolf Pack squad. They stepped onto the starting line with the third ranked team nationally (Oregon) and three other squads that were regionally ranked.
Nailing her pre-race instructions to the letter, junior Sam Diaz stuck herself in the lead pack of 30 from early on. Her assertiveness paid off. Despite experiencing another day when the junior from Shingle Springs, CA felt not up to par, Diaz ran a grinding war of attrition. As the pace gradually took its toll, runners let go, sliding off the back of the pack. Diaz tenaciously held on when it would have been easier to let go, to grab 15th in the second best time of her life.
After Diaz, the next five Wolf Pack finishers all smashed their PRs (Personal Records), and all did so significantly, with PRs from 22 to over 100 seconds respectively. But each cost themselves places in the race with their overly tentative start. Six hundred meters into the race, eight of Nevada’s nine woman squad were in the bottom 10, disconnected from the rest of the field by 15 meters.
Sophomore Demerey Kirsch first led the charge from the back, but she got away from the others fairly early on. Christy Works/Sr then took the responsibility to get the team rolling, pushing forward with freshmen Emily Myers and Erika Root, and sophomore Mariah Gramolini in tow. Myers, Root and Gramolini would all eventually bypass their senior teammate, but credit goes to Works for helping to energize her youthful peers.
The Wolf Pack will next compete in a fun dual meet with Sacramento State on the Rancho San Rafael Park course in Reno at 9:00am on Friday, October 5th. The “race” will be a relay with each runner covering legs of 2 miles, a half mile, a mile, then a half mile again. Times will be added together form each segment to create a 4 mile time for each athlete.
After that, Nevada will venture to the October 13th Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, AR, traditionally a race with a field of between 35-45 teams. Following Chile Pepper, the team will get ready for their first Mountain West Conference Championship, hosted this year by UNLV on Friday, October 26th.
Oregon 18, Southern Utah 73, Gonzaga 87, UC-Riverside 98, Idaho 125,NEVADA 135, Seattle U 203
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS 65 FINISHERS-5000 meters
NAME/YEAR PLACE TIME NOTES
Sam Diaz/JR 15 17:19 2nd best lifetime
Demerey Kirsch/SO 28 17:43 83 sec PR
Emily Myers/FR 34 18:03 22 sec PR
Erika Root/FR 41 18:20 100+ sec PR
Mariah Gramolini/SO 47 18:27 43 sec PR
Christy Works/SR 50 18:34 29 sec PR
Nicole Painter/SR 57 18:55 2nd best lifetime
Amber Karnofel/JR 60 19:12 48+ sec PR
Caitlin Devitt-Payne/SO 62 19:26
Think Great. Act Great. Be Great!