Oct. 16, 2012
RENO, Nev. -
Focused on a more aggressive race strategy, the Nevada Wolf Pack bolted off the starting line and charged the opening straight away to escape the crush of over 350 starters all trying to make a turn 300 meters into the Chile Pepper Festival 6000. The Wolf Pack rode their quick start to finish 10th of 43 teams at Chile Pepper for their best finish in a major competition in years.
Held on an Arkansas cross country course made soggy by a five hour Friday downpour, the rolling Chile Pepper course ran noticeably slower than previous years. The soft ground combined with a significant breeze to sap the speed from the field. The effect was noticeable as many athletes visibly struggled the last kilometer.
Early on, Sam Diaz and Demerey Kirsch ran side by side, nestled inside the top 30. This was an attempt to slow Diaz down in the early stages, but get Kirsch out more quickly. Diaz patiently moved up to finish a solid 18th in the large field. Kirsch went with her, but could not sustain the pace over the last 2 kilometers. In spite of legs that were rapidly approaching running on empty, the sophomore held on tough, fading just a bit back, almost to the exact place she held in the early stages of the race.
Freshmen Emily Myers and Erika Root, in the first 6000s of their respective careers had very different experiences. Myers, a Cabot, AR native likely to be a long distance runner in track, found the extra kilometer to her liking. Running in front of scores of Arkansas family and friends, she moved steadily through the field over the last half of the race to finish 42nd. Root, a mid-distance specialist, who, two weeks ago dropped her 5000 PR from over 20 minutes to 18:20, suffered through the longer distance, though gamely held on to solidify the fourth position for the Pack.
Senior Christy Works wrapped up the scoring for Nevada with a gutsy run. A former 400/800 runner who has worked to transform herself into a steeplechaser, gamely hung on after her body did its best to get her to stop.
With the transition to the Mountain West Conference, which, like the NCAA, holds it championships across 6000 rather than 500 meters, Nevada ventured to its first regular season 6000 in many years. Three of Nevada’s top 5 ran the first 6000 of their respective careers. The only other member of the top 5 to have previously completed the longer of the collegiate championship distances besides Works, was Sam Diaz, who notched a 22 second PR, in spite of a course which ran at least 30 seconds slower than normal.
The Wolf Pack will now prepare for the Mountain West Championships, which will be hosted by UNLV at Silver Bowl Park in Las Vegas on Friday, October 26th at 10:00am.
TEAM RESULTS 10th of 43 COMPLETE TEAMS
Arkansas 58, Oklahoma State 103, SMU 155, LSU 174, Loyola Marymount 181, James Madison 206, Richmond 224, UTSA 241, TCU 255, NEVADA 263…………………………
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS 341 FINISHERS
Name/Year Place Scoring Time Notes
Sam Diaz/Jr 18 17 21:45 22 Sec PR, #6 NV All Time
Demerey Kirsch/So 29 25 22:02 1st 6000, #11 NV All Time
Emily Myers/Fr 42 38 22:14 1st 6000, #16 NV All Time, #4 Frosh All Time
Erika Root/Fr 86 78 22:52 1st 6000, #22 NV All Time, #7 Frosh All Time
Christy Works/Sr 115 105 23:18 47 sec PR, Ties NV #33 All Time
Nicole Painter/Sr 130 118 23:31
Mariah Gramolini/So 137 125 23:39 78 sec PR, Ties NV 40th All Time
Amber Karnofel 195 X 24:34
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