Oregon Men Dominate Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown; Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins Go 1-2

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By Jonathan Gault
September 26, 2014

BOSTON — The No. 3 Oregon men and No. 1 Michigan women claimed big wins Friday at the 2014 Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown on a glorious early-fall afternoon at Franklin Park.  The 70-degree temperatures were ideal for spectating but a bit too warm for racing.

Nothing could stop the Ducks, who put four runners in the top six in the men’s race to score just 24 points and claim the men’s win for the second year in a row. Defending NCAA XC champion Edward Cheserek and teammate Eric Jenkins crossed the finish line together in first and second in a pedestrian 24:20 for the 8K course, waiting until the final mile to accelerate away from the rest of the field. No. 8 Syracuse, led by Martin Hehir (4th, 24:31) was second with 52 points, ahead of No. 16 Providence (79) and unranked Georgetown (103).

We recap the men’s race below with results and post-race video. On the women’s side, the top-ranked Wolverines used a 2-3 finish from Erin Finn and Shannon Osika to claim the win with 55 points ahead of No. 5 Georgetown (77). No. 14 Syracuse (134) and No. 17 Boston College (192). Individually, the race belonged to BC’s Liv Westphal, who made a big move in the second mile and pulled away to win on her home course by 21 seconds in 16:30. The women’s recap is here.

The Ducks won in Boston for the second straight year

The Ducks won in Boston for the second straight year

Men’s race

Everyone in the men’s race seemed to be keying off Cheserek and Jenkins, and when neither of them pushed the pace early, the pace dawdled. A large group came through the mile in 4:55 and the first trip up Bear Cage Hill did little to separate the pack as the leaders hit two miles in around 10:10. At that point, Oregon, Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Syracuse and Providence each had several runners at the very front of the pack. Providence’s Benjamin Connor and Shane Quinn went to the front during mile 3, but they didn’t drop the pace a ton and there were still a lot of guys in it as the leaders hit 5k in a slow 15:48.

The field went into the “Wilderness” section for a second time and by the time they emerged around 4 miles, the race was starting to string out. Oregon still had its entire top five within a couple seconds of the lead group of four — Cheserek, Jenkins, Quinn and Hehir — while Syracuse’s pack wasn’t far behind. The field headed out of sight of the main crowd for the final time, climbing Bear Cage Hill once more, and by the time they returned to the flat area near the start line (~800m to go), Cheserek and Jenkins had separated themselves from the field. They crossed together in 24:20 (with a very quick 8:32 last 3k), followed by Providence’s Brian Doyle in third. The rest of the field filed in, but it quickly became clear that Oregon was going to win handily as they had four in the top six. Fifth man Matthew Melancon crossed in 10th place to secure a dominant win for the Ducks.

Quick Take #1: Everything is more than okay with Eric Jenkins 

Jenkins was just eighth in the Ducks’ opener, the Bill Dellinger Invitational, three weeks ago (fifth on the team) but he looked like a different runner today, running comfortably with Cheserek the entire way and looking like he had a lot left in the tank at the finish. Jenkins said that he had been hurt at the end of the spring and as a result had built up very slowly into the cross country season. The result was that he wasn’t quite at the level of fitness he hoped he’d be at Bill Dellinger, where he went out with the leaders but blew up. After three weeks away at training camp, Jenkins said he’s a lot fitter now and was happy to perform well back in New England (he’s a Portsmouth, N.H., native).

Jenkins and Cheserek in the second video below both said that they were pleased with the performance, especially because the team ran really well. Cheserek also added that he feels in much better shape than a year ago.

Jenkins and Cheserek spent approximately 45 minutes to an hour cooling down after the race. I wondered whether they might have gone off to do a short workout as they weren’t near the team tents near the start line, but both Jenkins and Oregon coach Andy Powell told me that this was not the case (though Powell said that the cooldown “may be a little different that what some teams do”). They definitely did some strides near the start line but I couldn’t see anything else beyond that.

Quick Take #2: Coach Andy Powell has a lot of talent in his training group right now

Oregon spent the last three weeks at their training camp in the mountains of Oregon (UO’s classes don’t start until Monday) and Powell said that Jenkins and Cheserek have been inseparable in recent workouts. They’ve got some great training partners in Ivy fifth-years Johnny Gregorek and Will Geoghegan and recent Ducks Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson (none of whom have XC eligibility), so Powell has a lot of talent to work with right now.

Powell said that Oregon’s goal was to put five guys in front of Syracuse’s #2 (Oregon put four in front) and that he was happy with how the team ran. Oregon ran great last year at this meet (the Ducks actually dominated even more in 2013, scoring just 22 versus 24 this year) but only ended up fifth at NCAAs. Still, Powell said that the Ducks left some good guys at home as well (13:57 guy Jeramy Elkaim was notably absent), so they figure to improve as the season goes on.

Quick Take #3: No. 8 Syracuse is incredibly deep

After taking second in 2013, the Orange was second once again in 2014. Head coach Chris Fox felt that his team ran really well for the first four miles but “got banged up pretty good the last mile,” giving the men a B- for their performance. Fox said that he didn’t really care how they ran today because it’s still September and his team has run under 5:10 pace once since June. He preached patience, both in today’s race — where Syracuse got a little excited and went out hard last year — and during the season as a whole, as the Orange wants to run its best in November.

Syracuse is among the deepest teams in the country, and the Orange proved that today, putting nine runners in the top 25. It’s ninth finisher, Joel Hubbard was in before Providence’s fifth and Georgetown’s fourth; apart from those two schools and Oregon, Hubbard was in before every other school’s second finisher. Oregon has more top-end depth (four in the top six, six in the top 14), and the Ducks only entered seven guys (Syracuse entered 14), but it’s still a good sign for Fox and Syracuse that he’s got guys waiting to step up should someone get hurt or have a bad day.

Results courtesy of TFRRS

Men’s 8K individual results

Place
Name
Year
Team
Avg. Mile
Time
Score
1
SR-4
4:53
24:20
2
2
SO-2
4:53
24:20
1
3
SR-4
4:55
24:27
3
4
JR-3
4:55
24:31
4
5
SR-4
4:56
24:33
5
6
FR-1
4:56
24:34
6
7
SR-4
4:56
24:36
7
8
SR-4
4:57
24:37
8
9
SR-4
4:57
24:40
9
10
JR-3
4:58
24:42
10
11
SR-4
4:58
24:44
11
12
SO-2
4:58
24:44
12
13
JR-3
4:58
24:45
13
14
FR-1
4:58
24:45
14
15
JR-3
4:59
24:47
15
16
SO-2
4:59
24:49
16
17
SR-4
4:59
24:50
17
18
SO-2
4:59
24:50
18
19
JR-3
5:00
24:52
19
20
JR-3
5:00
24:53
21
21
FR-1
5:00
24:53
20
22
SR-4
5:00
24:54
22
23
FR-1
5:00
24:55
23
24
SR-4
5:01
24:56
25
SO-2
5:01
24:56
26
SR-4
5:01
24:58
24
27
JR-3
5:01
24:59
27
28
SR-4
5:01
24:59
25
29
FR-1
5:01
24:59
26
30
SR-4
5:02
25:01
28
31
JR-3
5:02
25:02
29
32
JR-3
5:02
25:03
30
33
FR-1
5:02
25:04
34
JR-3
5:02
25:05
31
35
SR-4
5:03
25:09
33
36
SO-2
5:03
25:09
32
37
FR-1
5:03
25:10
34
38
JR-3
5:04
25:11
35
39
SO-2
5:04
25:12
36
40
SO-2
5:04
25:13
37
41
SR-4
5:05
25:16
38
42
SR-4
5:05
25:17
39
43
JR-3
5:05
25:18
40
44
SO-2
5:05
25:18
42
45
FR-1
5:05
25:18
41
46
SR-4
5:05
25:19
44
47
JR-3
5:05
25:19
43
48
FR-1
5:05
25:20
45
49
SR-4
5:06
25:23
47
50
SO-2
5:06
25:23
46
51
JR-3
5:06
25:24
48
52
JR-3
5:07
25:26
49
53
SR-4
5:07
25:27
50
54
FR-1
5:07
25:28
51
55
SR-4
5:07
25:28
53
56
JR-3
5:07
25:28
52
57
SR-4
5:07
25:29
58
SO-2
5:07
25:30
59
SR-4
5:07
25:30
54
60
FR-1
5:08
25:31
55
61
FR-1
5:08
25:32
56
62
SR-4
5:08
25:32
63
SR-4
5:08
25:33
57
64
SO-2
5:08
25:35
58
65
JR-3
5:08
25:35
60
66
SR-4
5:08
25:35
59
67
SO-2
5:09
25:37
68
JR-3
5:09
25:39
61
69
JR-3
5:09
25:40
70
JR-3
5:09
25:40
62
71
SO-2
5:10
25:43
72
FR-1
5:10
25:43
73
FR-1
5:10
25:45
63
74
SR-4
5:10
25:45
64
75
SR-4
5:11
25:48
65
76
SO-2
5:11
25:49
77
SR-4
5:12
25:52
67
78
SO-2
5:12
25:52
66
79
FR-1
5:12
25:52
80
SR-4
5:12
25:52
81
JR-3
5:12
25:52
68
82
SR-4
5:12
25:54
69
83
JR-3
5:12
25:55
84
SR-4
5:13
25:56
70
85
SO-2
5:13
25:57
71
86
SR-4
5:13
25:57
72
87
SR-4
5:13
25:59
74
88
FR-1
5:13
25:59
75
89
JR-3
5:13
25:59
73
90
SR-4
5:13
26:00
76
91
SR-4
5:14
26:01
77
92
JR-3
5:14
26:01
93
FR-1
5:14
26:01
78
94
SO-2
5:14
26:02
95
SO-2
5:15
26:08
79
96
JR-3
5:15
26:09
80
97
JR-3
5:15
26:10
81
98
SO-2
5:15
26:10
82
99
FR-1
5:16
26:11
85
100
SO-2
5:16
26:11
84
101
SO-2
5:16
26:11
83
102
JR-3
5:16
26:12
86
103
FR-1
5:16
26:12
104
FR-1
5:16
26:14
87
105
FR-1
5:16
26:15
88
106
SR-4
5:17
26:16
89
107
SO-2
5:17
26:17
108
SO-2
5:17
26:17
90
109
JR-3
5:17
26:18
110
SO-2
5:17
26:19
91
111
SR-4
5:17
26:20
92
112
FR-1
5:17
26:20
93
113
JR-3
5:18
26:21
94
114
SR-4
5:18
26:22
95
115
SO-2
5:18
26:22
96
116
SO-2
5:18
26:22
117
SR-4
5:18
26:23
97
118
SO-2
5:18
26:25
119
JR-3
5:18
26:25
98
120
SO-2
5:19
26:26
99
121
SR-4
5:19
26:27
122
FR-1
5:19
26:28
100
123
SO-2
5:19
26:29
101
124
FR-1
5:19
26:29
102
125
JR-3
5:19
26:29
103
126
SR-4
5:19
26:29
104
127
SO-2
5:20
26:31
105
128
FR-1
5:20
26:32
106
129
FR-1
5:20
26:33
108
130
FR-1
5:20
26:33
107
131
FR-1
5:20
26:34
111
132
FR-1
5:20
26:34
109
133
SO-2
5:20
26:35
134
SR-4
5:20
26:35
135
JR-3
5:20
26:35
136
SO-2
5:21
26:39
137
SO-2
5:22
26:43
113
138
FR-1
5:22
26:43
112
139
SO-2
5:22
26:44
114
140
JR-3
5:22
26:45
141
SR-4
5:22
26:45
115
142
SO-2
5:23
26:46
143
SO-2
5:23
26:47
116
144
SR-4
5:23
26:48
145
JR-3
5:23
26:50
117
146
HAGEN, TYLER
5:23
26:50
147
SO-2
5:24
26:52
118
148
FR-1
5:25
26:57
120
149
JR-3
5:25
26:57
119
150
JR-3
5:25
26:58
151
FR-1
5:26
27:02
121
152
SO-2
5:26
27:02
153
FR-1
5:27
27:07
122
154
SO-2
5:27
27:08
155
SO-2
5:27
27:10
156
JR-3
5:27
27:10
123
157
SO-2
5:27
27:10
158
FR-1
5:28
27:11
159
FR-1
5:28
27:13
124
160
SO-2
5:28
27:13
161
SR-4
5:28
27:13
162
SO-2
5:29
27:16
125
163
FR-1
5:29
27:17
164
JR-3
5:29
27:19
165
FR-1
5:30
27:22
166
FR-1
5:30
27:23
167
SO-2
5:31
27:26
126
168
JR-3
5:31
27:30
169
FR-1
5:32
27:34
170
SO-2
5:32
27:35
171
FR-1
5:33
27:37
172
SR-4
5:35
27:48
173
FR-1
5:35
27:49
174
FR-1
5:38
28:04
175
FR-1
5:40
28:10
127
176
SO-2
5:40
28:10
177
SO-2
5:41
28:17
128
178
FR-1
5:44
28:33
129
179
FR-1
5:46
28:41
180
FR-1
5:47
28:49
181
FR-1
5:52
29:10
130
182
SR-4
6:11
30:44
131

Men’s 8K team scores

Rank
Team name
Total Time
Avg. Time
Score
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
2:02:29
24:29
24
1
2
5
6
10
14
37
2
2:03:24
24:40
52
4
8
9
15
16
20
23
3
2:03:54
24:46
79
3
7
17
19
33
34
41
4
2:04:29
24:53
103
11
12
18
26
36
44
58
5
2:05:14
25:02
142
21
25
29
32
35
48
49
6
2:05:48
25:09
179
13
27
28
55
56
57
66
7
2:05:58
25:11
182
22
31
40
42
47
52
59
8
2:06:33
25:18
212
24
30
45
50
63
68
113
9
2:08:27
25:41
298
39
53
67
69
70
100
108
10
2:08:47
25:45
327
51
61
62
75
78
92
109
11
2:09:22
25:52
346
54
64
71
77
80
81
86
12
2:10:03
26:00
378
38
73
84
90
93
95
124
13
2:10:07
26:01
384
60
72
82
83
87
88
97
14
2:10:40
26:08
408
65
74
79
89
101
104
15
2:10:24
26:04
410
43
46
98
111
112
114
119
16
2:11:50
26:22
480
76
96
99
102
107
116
118
17
2:13:53
26:46
541
85
91
117
122
126
130
18
2:13:14
26:38
549
103
105
106
115
120
121
125
19
2:18:31
27:42
601
94
123
127
128
129
131

 More: Women’s Race Recap: Michigan Women Dominate 2014 Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown; BC’s Liv Westphal Gets Individual Title
*Discuss the Battle in Beantown Here