Cross Country: Utes Finish Second at CSI Invitational


The University of Utah and Weber State host the Spring Classic at the McCarthy track & field in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, April 6, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer


The No. 22 ranked University of Utah cross country team had eleven runners finish in the top fifteen in the CSI (College of Southern Idaho) Invitational on Friday. A second-place finish was the Utes’ fate as they competed against CSI, Northwest Nazarene, Weber State and Westminster.

“To have eleven of our runners in the first seventeen and eight of them in first thirteen — that shows our depth. We have a ton of depth, and we have some more people to put in the lineup,” said head coach Kyle Kepler.

Trina Moreno was the standout runner for the Utes, finishing in third place overall in the 5K with a time of 18:28.60. Karli Branch and Ellie Lundgreen finished in sixth and seventh place coming in behind Moreno with an equal time of 18:45.90. Kennedy Powell and Emma Christensen weren’t far behind Branch and Lundgreen, finishing with a time of 18:48.40.

Grace Burnett, Sara Leonard and Brooke Manson wrapped up the top thirteen in the 5k competition. Burnett finished in tenth with a college best time of 18:52.00, while Leonard and Manson posted times of 18:59.20 and 19:07.70, respectively.

“Trina Moreno led us and had a great opening meet of the year for her. She finished in third overall, she was in third most of the race and she will continue to improve with each race and training session we will be doing throughout the season, so I’m excited for her,” Kepler said. “Overall, I thought we ran well. Our one to five spread was only 20 seconds, which is outstanding, and our seventh girl was only 31 seconds off our number one, so that’s great to see.”

Utah also had other competitors in the race with Jade Mulvey and Anna Busatto finishing in sixteenth and seventeenth place with times of 19:32.42 and 19:33.40, respectively. Astrid Lindgren finished in twenty-fourth place in 20:09.99 and Kaitlyn Mercer rounded out the group in thirty-first place with a new college best time of 20:30.37.

Weber State came out on top in the CSI Invitational, with Lexie Thompson finishing first overall with a time of 18:03.8 and Abby Lawrence coming in second with a time of 18:25.8.

Northwest Nazarene came in third place, with their top finisher being Bethany Danner, who came in fifteenth-place with a time of 20:01.2.

The hosts of this weekend’s Invitational, the College of Southern Idaho, finished in fourth place. Erika Kent was the lead runner from CSI, finishing in twenty-fourth place with a 20:03.9 effort in the 5k. Utah native Madison Flippence came in twenty-sixth for the Golden Eagles, scoring a time of 20:15.2.

Rounding out the invitational was the Westminster Griffins, who finished in fifth place.

“Weber State did beat us, and they just had some more kids up at the front of the race than we did, but it was really tight. It was a one-point race until the last 50 meters, and then one of their girls went around four of our girls and kind of closed the door on us,” Kepler said. “I was really pleased. We ran tough, especially up the hill in the second mile of this race, where everyone thought our kids answered the bell there and put us back into the race. [We] gave ourselves a chance to come-back and win, but we just ran out of room.”

The Utah cross country team will now take a monthlong break before traveling to South Bend, Indiana to take part in the Notre Dame-hosted Joe Piane Invitational on Friday, Oct. 4.


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