Amanda Mergaert finished fourth in her season debut.
Sept. 24, 2011
Palo Alto, Calif. - Led by junior Amanda Mergaert's fourth-place finish, the University of Utah women's cross country team finished fourth overall with 156 points at the Stanford Invitational.
"Overall we ran pretty well," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We ran hard and everyone on our team got better today. I thought our top four runners ran very well with only a 1:20 gap separating them."
In her first race of the season, Mergaert paved the way with a personal-best performance at Stanford. Mergaert clocked a six-kilometer time of 20:27 to earn fourth overall. Finishing second for the Utes and 13th overall was senior Alyssa Abbott (21:04).
Freshman Susannah Hurst had a great performance with a time of 21:41 for 35th overall and third for the Utes. Rebekah Winterton (37th) and Nicole Rietz (89th) each passed multiple runners on the final stretch to round out the top five scoring runners for the Utes with times of 21:44 and 22:33.
The Utes had a combined team score of 156 points earning fourth place. The overall winner of the race was Stanford with 24 points.
"We still struggled at the start of the race," Kepler said. "This is a really fast race and our freshmen have to understand that they need to get in the race from the start. I think we got a lot better today and that is why we are here. Next week we will improve the four and five gap."
The Utes will compete next on October 1 at the UNLV Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev.