No. 4 Oregon Men & No. 2 Colorado Women Deliver as Edward Cheserek (23:34) and Erin Finn (19:44) Dominate at 2016 Pre-Nats

  • submit to reddit

by LetsRun.com
October 15, 2016

The 2016 Pre-National Invitational went very much according to form on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind., as the two highest ranked teams in the fields — the No. 4 Oregon men and the No. 2 Colorado women — rolled to victories. Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (23:34.7) and Michigan’s Erin Finn (19:44.7) both made statements in the individual races as Cheserek won by 21.4 seconds and Finn won by 23.7 seconds.

Results, recaps and analysis below.

Talk about the race on our fan forum / messageboard: MB: Official 2016 Wisco/Pre-Nats Discussion Thread

Men’s Race: Edward Cheserek Destroys the Field Over Final Three Kilometers

Cheserek coasted to an easy win in Terre Haute

Cheserek coasted to an easy win in Terre Haute

The race went out fairly conservatively and at 5k, a pack of nine men passed through at 15:06. At that point, it was a thoroughly international affair up front as the top 11 runners consisted of nine Kenyans and two Brits.

The race would not remain close for much longer as Cheserek, perhaps wanting to avoid a repeat of last year when he was caught unawares by Virginia Tech’s Thomas Curtin, made his move much earlier than normal, attacking the downhill just after the 5k mark and opening up a huge gap. No one even tried to go with him, and this one was over quickly as he ran his final three kilometers in a blazing 8:28, crossing in 23:34.7 to win at Pre-Nats for a second time. Arkansas’ Frankline Tonui was the best of the rest, finishing 21.4 seconds back in second place, while Cheserek’s Oregon sophomore teammate Matthew Maton earned top American honors in 24:07.7.

Cheserek is right on track to win an unprecedented fourth NCAA cross country crown as he told Flotrack after the race that today’s effort felt like a tempo run.

Men’s Team Results and Top 10 Individuals

Place Team (National rank) Points Places Avg. Time Spread
1 Oregon (#4) 85 1-4-18-26-36 (146) 24:15:00 1:04.1
2 Arkansas (#5) 110 2-12-14-29-53 (77) (99) 24:24:00 0:58.9
3 Colorado (#6) 124 15-24-27-28-30 (54) (66) 24:29:00 0:12.5
4 Michigan (#20) 200 8-13-49-58-72 (78) (236) 24:41:00 0:54.7
5 Indiana (#13) 255 31-37-38-51-98 (130) (160) 24:50:00 0:42.4
6 UTEP (#12) 258 9-10-32-71-136 (170) 24:44:00 1:21.0
7 Air Force 272 33-44-45-70-80 (105) 24:53:00 0:32.4
8 Bradley 309 16-42-46-90-115 24:55:00 1:02.4
9 San Francisco 323 7-43-47-81-145 (147) (195) 24:55:00 1:27.5
10 California (RV) 331 25-39-84-88-95 (166) (196) 24:59:00 0:48.3
11 Furman 358 20-21-61-108-148 (176) (193) 24:58:00 1:15.8
12 Cal Poly 401 22-65-94-103-117 (197) 25:06:00 0:59.7
13 Missouri 427 35-69-79-116-128 (158) 25:09:00 0:51.0
14 Utah State 454 11-52-92-122-177 (206) (219) 25:08:00 1:36.3
15 Ohio State 468 23-82-91-120-152 (155) (199) 25:12:00 1:15.0
16 Purdue 487 64-74-93-114-142 (209) 25:17:00 0:36.2
17 Oklahoma 495 34-50-85-144-182 (208) (225) 25:15:00 1:16.9
18 Dartmouth (RV) 498 56-57-102-124-159 (175) (203) 25:17:00 0:47.0
19 Butler 516 73-97-106-111-129 (163) (164) 25:20:00 0:22.9
20 Wyoming 529 40-75-107-139-168 (198) 25:20:00 1:03.4
21 Kansas 599 62-76-110-121-230 (244) 25:31:00 1:37.5
22 Eastern Kentucky (#15) 604 67-101-123-156-157 (184) (231) 25:27:00 0:39.7
23 Louisville (RV) 645 5-6-194-216-224 (259) 25:25:00 2:23.4
24 Campbell 650 3-17-185-205-240 25:28:00 2:54.1
25 Florida 656 55-86-154-180-181 (183) (188) 25:31:00 0:57.3
26 IUPUI 658 19-87-112-213-227 (249) (251) 25:35:00 2:12.5
27 Cornell 687 119-134-135-137-162 (214) 25:34:00 0:20.3
28 Dayton 700 63-118-151-178-190 (204) (238) 25:35:00 0:55.3
29 Wichita State 733 48-125-173-186-201 (220) (228) 25:38:00 1:13.4
30 Nebraska 744 89-131-161-174-189 (207) (222) 25:39:00 0:42.4
31 Utah Valley 750 60-109-165-169-247 (257) (258) 25:49:00 2:11.4
32 Portland 753 59-68-127-243-256 26:06:00 3:03.2
33 Arizona State 778 83-132-153-200-210 (232) (233) 25:44:00 1:03.9
34 Harvard 791 41-133-141-226-250 25:59:00 2:38.2
35 Iowa 812 104-138-171-187-212 (223) (241) 25:47:00 0:54.5
36 Indiana State 818 96-100-143-237-242 (245) (246) 26:00:00 1:39.7
37 North Texas 913 126-149-191-218-229 (248) (252) 26:01:00 1:09.0
38 Bowling Green 918 140-172-179-192-235 (253) 26:01:00 1:09.0
39 Lehigh 964 150-167-211-215-221 (239) 26:05:00 0:45.9
40 Youngstown St. 1020 113-202-217-234-254 (255) 26:26:00 2:16.8

Top 10 Individuals *Full Results Here

1 Cheserek, Edward SR Oregon 23:34.7
2 Tonui, Frankline SR Arkansas 23:56.1
3 Terer, Amon SR Campbell 23:58.5
4 Maton, Matthew SO Oregon 24:07.7
5 Chemoiywo, Calvin SR Louisville 24:07.7
6 Kibichiy, Edwin SR Louisville 24:09.7
7 Short, Alex SR San Francisco 24:11.2
8 Baumgarten, Aaron JR Michigan 24:11.8
9 Boit, Cosmas SR UTEP 24:12.0
10 Kosgei, Antony SO UTEP 24:13.1

Quick Thought #1: Oregon is a national title contender, though Northern Arizona will still be No. 1 when the new coaches’ poll comes out

The Ducks ran a good race today, particularly Maton, who emerged as a potential second low stick at NCAAs. But NAU’s performance yesterday was better. NAU scored 78 to Oregon’s 85 today, and though there were more teams at Pre-Nats (40 vs. 30 at Wisconsin), there were far more ranked teams at Wisconsin (19 vs. 6 at Pre-Nats), which is more relevant when it comes to comparing point totals.

Northern Arizona also has more margin for error right now. NAU put all seven finishers in the top 60 at Wisconsin, while Oregon only had six men listed in the results (Austin Tamagno was not listed), with sixth man Bryan Fernandez way back in 149th.

Oregon already has an advantage over most NCAA teams in that it only has to score four runners at NCAAs (with Cheserek a virtual lock for the win), but top contenders NAU (Futsum Zienasellassie), Syracuse (Justyn Knight) and Stanford (Grant Fisher and Sean McGorty) all have guys who figure to finish in the top 10 as well. If Oregon is to win its first title since 2008, it needs Maton to keep running as a stud and the #3/#4/#5 guys to keep improving between now and November.

Quick Thought #2: The Colorado machine keeps grinding

The Buffaloes lost four guys from their 2015 NCAA runner-up squad, but they still managed to get third today and were only 14 points away from Arkansas in second. At this point, it’s no surprise — like New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, CU’s Mark Wetmore always manages to field a competitive team no matter the composition of the roster. But that doesn’t mean we should stop appreciating it. If you had told us that Colorado’s two returning All-Americans, John Dressel and Ben Saarel, would be their #3 and #4 guys today, we’d have predicted the Buffaloes would struggle. But sophomore Ryan Forsyth stepped up to lead the team in 15th and Colorado displayed impressive depth, putting all five scorers in the top 30 and finishing with the best #5/#6/#7 runners in the field.

The Buffs may not have the ammo at the front of the pack to contend for an NCAA crown (though Dressel and Saarel have shown the potential to get there by November), but this team is well-positioned for the next few years with only one senior in the top seven and stud recruits Eduardo Herrera and Phillip Rocha (who may end up redshirting this year) coming into the fold in 2017.

Quick Thought #3: Surprises and flops in the men’s team race

There weren’t a lot of shockers in this one. There were seven nationally ranked teams in the men’s race and six of those teams took the top six places, with the top three ranked teams going 1-2-3 in the order that they were ranked. The biggest surprise of that group was No. 20 Michigan finishing 4th.

Women’s Race: Erin Finn Puts on a Show

There was a large group of women together through one mile (5:25), at which point Finn began pushing the pace and stringing out the field. By just after two miles (10:44), it was down to Finn, Clemson’s Grace Barnett and Kansas’ Sharon Lokedi up front, but Finn was relentless and launched into another attack around 2.5 miles. She began to pull away quickly and was totally alone by the time she entered the home straight, pouring it on to win by 23.7 seconds in 19:44.7. 2015 champ Erin Clark of Colorado closed well to move up for second to lead the Buffaloes to a commanding team victory.

Women’s Team Results and Top 10 Individuals

Place Team (National rank) Points Places Avg. Time Spread
1 Colorado (#2) 93 2-12-17-26-36 (46) (76) 20:33 0:43.6
2 Oregon (#9) 154 6-13-34-48-53 (67) (98) 20:44 0:43.0
3 Michigan (#13) 179 1-22-49-51-56 (90) (93) 20:42 1:18.4
4 Portland (#5) 196 9-28-39-50-70 (108) (176) 20:51 0:48.6
5 Arkansas (#12) 225 7-27-52-65-74 (95) (117) 20:54 0:54.2
6 Stanford (#7) 229 24-29-41-47-88 (113) (122) 20:56 0:40.4
7 Eastern Michigan (#16) 255 18-32-43-68-94 (181) (231) 20:58 0:50.3
8 California (RV) 330 8-38-62-103-119 (162) (226) 21:06 1:16.3
9 Miss State (RV) 362 31-59-66-102-104 (229) (265) 21:13 0:43.9
10 Air Force 404 14-40-60-91-199 (251) 21:13 1:42.7
11 Cal Poly (RV) 477 3-87-116-130-141 (147) (211) 21:20 1:36.4
12 Missouri 479 4-92-96-127-160 (202) (273) 21:19 1:39.7
13 Kansas 492 10-58-86-165-173 (209) (215) 21:22 1:32.7
14 Florida (RV) 497 35-64-81-146-171 (179) (269) 21:25 1:06.2
15 Indiana (RV) 512 11-89-124-133-155 (182) (242) 21:25 1:25.9
16 Butler (RV) 518 15-55-111-125-212 (261) (275) 21:26 1:51.3
17 Eastern Kentucky 534 19-105-121-138-151 (174) (223) 21:28 1:17.9
18 Virginia (#22) 540 69-97-106-107-161 (219) (252) 21:31 0:44.5
19 Purdue 565 21-25-134-185-200 (232) (246) 21:28 1:36.4
20 Arizona 580* 20-37-115-158-250 (266) (282) 21:36 2:25.9
21 Ohio State 580* 63-100-131-137-149 (166) (188) 21:36 0:43.8
22 Oklahoma 619 83-110-139-142-145 (191) (228) 21:40 0:29.9
23 Colorado St. 620 54-101-129-159-177 (184) (218) 21:37 0:57.9
24 Utah State 656 45-61-150-178-222 (238) (267) 21:41 1:31.1
25 Furman 660 16-85-154-201-204 (235) (239) 21:38 1:43.8
26 Brown 665 71-80-114-194-206 (217) (225) 21:42 1:04.6
27 Dartmouth (RV) 679 84-99-152-169-175 (203) (227) 21:43 0:40.2
28 Louisville 701 30-120-172-189-190 (224) (234) 21:44 1:21.8
29 New Hampshire 720 5-153-163-192-207 (249) 21:42 2:01.4
30 Clemson 741 23-75-205-208-230 (277) 21:48 1:52.6
31 Arizona State 772 78-112-143-198-241 (262) 21:56 1:31.1
32 Rice 776 44-82-170-237-243 (263) 21:57 1:51.8
33 Elon 777 57-148-164-195-213 (253) (281) 21:53 1:19.1
34 Toledo 794 123-136-156-183-196 (220) (236) 21:55 0:31.2
35 James Madison 814 72-132-168-187-255 (271) (279) 22:01 1:52.1
36 UMass Lowell 834 118-140-186-193-197 (258) (260) 21:58 0:33.5
37 Marquette 851 79-109-214-216-233 (254) (256) 22:03 1:18.4
38 Iowa 860 135-157-167-180-221 (240) 22:01 0:41.9
39 Northwestern 945* 42-126-248-257-272 22:28 2:43.2
40 Coastal Carolina 945* 33-77-274-278-283 22:50 3:33.2
41 Montana State 1034 73-210-245-247-259 (264) (276) 22:31 1:54.1
42 Tulane 1054 128-144-244-268-270 (280) (284) 22:40 1:49.1

*Tiebreakers
Arizona (580) 3 W-W-W-L-L Ohio State (580) 2 L-L-L-W-W Northwestern (945) 3 L-L-W-W-W Coastal Carolina (945) 2 W-W-L-L-L

Top 10 Individuals *Full Results Here

1 Finn, Erin SR Michigan 19:44.7
2 Clark, Erin SR Colorado 20:08.4
3 Bilo, Peyton SO Cal Poly 20:11.5
4 Schweizer, Karissa JR Missouri 20:14.0
5 Purrier, Elinor JR New Hampshire 20:15.4
6 Rainsberger, Katie FR Oregon 20:19.1
7 Clark, Devin SO Arkansas 20:20.0
8 Knights, Bethan JR California 20:21.0
9 LaRocco, Lauren JR Portland 20:22.4
10 Lokedi, Sharon SO Kansas 20:26.3

Quick Thought #1: Colorado is the best team in the country

As expected, the No. 2 Buffaloes won handily today, putting six runners in the top 50 to earn a 61-point victory over No. 9 Oregon. Though Washington’s win at Wisconsin yesterday was impressive (the Huskies put seven women in the top 50), we still give Colorado the edge. We’ll get a good look at how the two teams match up against each other as they’ll square off at Pac-12s in two weeks.

Quick Thought #2: A statement win from Erin Finn

Finn lost to Wisconsin champ Brenna Peloquin of Boise State at Roy Griak on September 24, but she has dominated in her three other races, two of which have come on the NCAA course in Terre Haute. Check out her 2016 results:

September 10: Won Sycamore Inv. at Indiana St. by 45 secs in 17:04.2 (5k)
September 24: 2nd at Roy Griak in 21:01.0 (6k), 11.5 secs behind Peloquin
October 1: Won Greater Louisville Classic by 23.6 secs in course-record 16:27.5 (5k)
October 15: Won Pre-Nats by 23.7 secs in 19:44.7 (6k)

Finn’s run today was the fastest ever by a woman at Pre-Nats at Terre Haute, and the first time anyone had broken 20:00 at Pre-Nats at Terre Haute since Jenny Simpson in 2009. Despite the loss to Peloquin earlier in the season, Finn will be extremely tough to beat at NCAAs as she has a ton of experience on the Terre Haute course (Peloquin has never raced there) and looks to be improving with every race.

Quick Thought #3: The Stanford women were only sixth, but they’re young and were running without Elise Cranny

No. 7 Stanford entered as the third-highest ranked team in the field, behind No. 2 Colorado and No. 5 Portland, but the Cardinal were only sixth today. That’s not a great result, though it didn’t help that Elise Cranny, who made the trip to Terre Haute, did not race (we don’t know why).

Stanford has a lot of talent on the roster, including true freshmen Christina Aragon (4:08, World U20 1500 bronze) and Ella Donaghu (4:14), but both had long track seasons (particularly Aragon, who ran the World U20 final on July 24), which may have shown in their performances today (Aragon was 41st, Donaghu 47th).

Stanford should be a force in the years to come, but right now they’re not good enough to compete in a loaded Pac-12, especially if they don’t have Cranny.

Quick Thought #4: Surprises and flops in the women’s team race

Team-wise, as in the men’s race, things pretty much went according to form. There were eight nationally ranked teams in the field and the seven teams that were ranked in the top 16 in the country in the race took the top seven places led by No. 2 Colorado, who won as expected. Sure, within that group there were a few minor deviations from the rankings, but nothing major.

For example, Stanford was worse than expected. They were the third-best team in terms of rankings but only were 6th in the race because, as we said above, Elise Cranny didn’t race. Michigan was better than expected as they were the sixth-best team in terms of rankings and yet finished third.

The eighth-highest ranked team in the field, No. 22 Virginia, struggled mightily, however, as they were just 18th in the race.


Advertisement


Never miss running news.

Sent once a week or when breaking news breaks.
(We don't spam or sell our list)