DiGrazia takes gold as Utes place fifth

By By James Boehly, Staff Writer

By James Boehly, Staff Writer

When it comes to senior Chelsea DiGrazia, cross country coach Kyle Kepler might want to change his motto to: any time, any place.

On Saturday, in the Montana State Invitational, DiGrazia earned her second gold-medal finish with a time of 17 minutes 21 seconds in the 3-mile race. That’s two races, and two first-place finishes for the U senior this year who already won the Utah State Open on Aug. 29.

DiGrazia and Utah’s other top cross country runners sat out of the Colorado State Open on Sept. 13 so they could spend more time training and resting, which also paved the way for younger team members to step up. With DiGrazia’s string of first-place finishes, teammates will have to keep better pace if they want to keep up with their team captain.

Overall, the Utes tallied 111 points to finish fifth while Weber State took home first place with a total of 44 points (lowest score wins).

“We have made improvements each week,” Kepler said. “Our main focus is for November at the conference championships, but next week we’ll be heading into our big meets and we’ll need to be prepared.”

Janett Ern also ran strong for the Utes as she finished 10th with a time of 18:00.

The other top finisher for the Utes was Carly Selleck, who clocked in at 18:10 and came in 22nd overall. Selleck gave a final push for the last mile of the race to get past six runners and finish in the top 25.

“I am very pleased with our top three finishes today,” Kepler said. “Our second group opened up too conservatively and our four through eight runners didn’t have a chance to catch up. We still made large improvements from last week though.”

Next week, the Utes will be heading to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational. With the team’s top runners expected to be back in action, the Utes will be at full strength for the first time this season.

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Chelsea DiGrazia