Senior Amanda Mergaert leads Utes at NCAA Pre-Nationals.
Oct. 13, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Led by senior Amanda Mergaert's 15th-place performance, the University of Utah women's cross country team earned 15th overall at the NCAA Pre-National meet. The team finished with 489 points, missing the 13th spot by 14 points.
"Overall we had a solid day," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We ran hard and placed around where I thought we could. We would have liked to finish a few spots higher. Four of our top-six runners ran really well, but a couple of the freshmen struggled a bit. We came here to gain experience and get better. I feel good where we are at, but there are some things that we can improve on as we head into the Pac-12 Conference Championships."
Mergaert led the charge for the Utes with a 15th-place performance. Battling illness throughout the week, Mergaert fought hard to finish near a personal-best time of 20:19.2. On the final stretch of the race, Mergaert was able to hold off University of Texas junior Marielle Hall, who finished in a time of 20:19.8.
Finishing second for the Utes and 45th overall was sophomore Giselle Slotboom. Passing five runners in the final 400m of the race, Slotboom clocked a lifetime-best time of 21:00.1. Sophomore Susannah Hurst was the third Utah runner to cross the line. Hurst also posted a personal-record time clocking a 21:10.7 for 64th place.
Florida State was the overall winner of the meet earning 72 points. Oregon finished second with 87 points, followed by Michigan with 141 points. Defending NCAA Champion Georgetown earned fourth with 163 points, and Texas rounded out the top-five with a team score of 184 points.
The Utes will take a week off from competition before returning for the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 27 in Westwood, Calif.