With only two meets remaining before the Pac-12 Championships, the University of Utah cross country team continues to improve both as a team and as individual runners. The team took third place at the Steve T. Reeder Invitational hosted by Utah State University this past Friday.
While the coaching staff held out their starters for this meet to make sure they are healthy going into a very important meet next weekend, the girls that ran sure did make an impact on the race.
Leading the way for the Utes was redshirt sophomore Emma Christensen as well as Astrid Lindgren. Christensen was the first to cross the finish line for the U. She finished in 10th place with a time of 18:51.11. This finish was her highest finish of the year. Lindgren was a few places behind her teammate when she took 15th place with a time of 19:17.44.
Head coach Kyle Kepler says that you could see the improvement from Christensen from the last time she ran on this course a few weeks earlier.
“She ran 24 or 25 seconds better there than she did a month ago, so there was a huge improvement for her,” Kepler said. “Astrid Lindgren was another kid who I think improved by 12 or 14 seconds from the last time she ran there a month ago, so we had some significant improvements and that is what you are looking for.”
Also running for the team was sophomore Ashley Licata, who placed 22nd with a time of 19:50.80. Junior Anna Busatto (28th; 19:55.22) and senior Makenzie Clark (37th; 20:28.06) followed.
Freshman Brooke Manson ran unattached from the team for her first collegiate race and ended up finishing 24th with a time of 19:42.68.
This week the team will head back east to compete in the Penn State National in College Station, Pennsylvania. The meet is set to begin on Friday, Oct. 12 at 8:45 a.m. The runners set to compete for the U are still to be announced.
After their trip to Pennsylvania the team will host their lone home meet of the season on Friday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. The race will take place at Sunnyside Park in Salt Lake City.