FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – On a
rainy, blustery day at Buffalo Park, the Northern Arizona cross
country teams beared the elements to capture the 2009 George Kyte
Classic men’s and women’s titles.
Both teams collected victories over in-state foes Arizona, Arizona State and Central Arizona.
Senior Veronica Pohl captured the women’s individual title when she finished the 5,000m race in 17:16, and sophomore Diego Estrada took the men’s title with a time of 24:57, 1:11 seconds better then his time last year.
Interim Track and Field Director Eric Heins was pleased with what he saw from the women in their first race of the year.
“It was a good race for the women. I was hoping to see them a little more packed up, but I think Veronica got a little excited with two other competitors in front of her,” said Heins. “They went well together through the mile. Overall, I saw a lot of good things from the girls and they were very competitive.”
The men’s performance also gave Heins a lot of confidence as they begin the season.
“The guys who ran in uniform did a great job of staying packed up just like we wanted to,” noted Heins. “They ran that perfectly. I think that is a good opener for us. Next we head to San Diego, so we should have more people in uniform then.”
With the threat of rain looming, the women hit the course just before 1:30 p.m. Following up the impressive run of Pohl were sophomores Kortnee Burton (17:54) and Haley Lawrence (18:25), who finished the race fourth and 10th respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Lumberjacks were juniors Amanda Griggs (18:27) and Nikki Codd (18:34).
A third of the way through the men’s race, a downpour ensued, leaving the competitors soaked as they finished the course.
Andrew Belus was the first Lumberjack to cross the finish line as Estrada ran unattached in the event. The junior finished the race in 25:39, over a minute better than his time in last year. Juniors Jason Pederson (26:00) and Simon Gilna (26:01) followed up Belus with third and fourth place finishes. Eric Lynch (26:22) and Kam Holbrook (26:34) rounded out the top-five finishers for the Lumberjacks, as the juniors finished the race seventh and eighth respectively.
Estrada was very pleased with the effort he put forth capturing the men’s title.
“It got a bit competitive out there, but I kept the pace under control,” said Estrada. “I have to say the race went well. I don’t think I took it to the well, it just felt pretty comfortable. The other guys looked good too. Right now everyone is doing there work and they are ready to go.”
The Lumberjacks hit the road for the remainder of the season, with both teams set to compete at the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State on September 19.
February 1, 2010 Nine Cross Country Athletes Named All-Academic Big Sky
December 4, 2009 Heins Named Big Sky Coach of the Year
November 23, 2009 McNeill Finishes Runner Up; Lumberjacks Claim Fourth Place
November 20, 2009 Lumberjacks to Compete at Cross Country Championships Monday
November 18, 2009 McNeill Named Mountain Region Athlete of the Year
November 17, 2009 Lumberjacks Slip in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
November 15, 2009 Mens Team Receives At-Large Bid to NCAA Championships
November 14, 2009 McNeill Repeats; Men Finish Fourth, Women Seventh at Mountain Regional
November 12, 2009 Cross Country to Race at NCAA Mountain Regional in Albuquerque
November 3, 2009 Mens Team Climbs to No. 4 in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
October 31, 2009 Lumberjacks Sweep Big Sky Cross Country Championships
October 30, 2009 Big Sky Conference Championship Start Time Pushed Back
October 28, 2009 Cross Country to Run in Big Sky Championships Saturday
October 20, 2009 Chipangama, Pohl Named Big Sky Cross Country Athletes of the Week
October 20, 2009 Lumberjacks Drop in Latest USTFCCCA Polls
October 17, 2009 Cross Country Teams Turn in Solid Efforts at Pre-Nationals
October 16, 2009 'Jack of All Trades by Amy Farnum of NCAA.com
October 15, 2009 Watch The Lumberjacks Compete Live at Pre-Nationals Saturday
October 14, 2009 Lumberjacks Gear Up for Pre-Nationals Invitational
October 6, 2009 Lumberjacks Move Up in USTFCCCA Rankings
October 5, 2009 Cowboy Jamboree Highlights and Interviews
October 3, 2009 Chipangama Leads Lumberjacks to Cowboy Jamboree Men's Title
September 30, 2009 Cross Country to Compete in ASU Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree
September 29, 2009 Lumberjacks Stand Firm in USTFCCCA Rankings
September 22, 2009 Pohl Named Big Sky Conference Womens Cross Country Athlete of the Week
September 19, 2009 Pohl, Chipangama Lead Lumberjacks to Titles at Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Lumberjacks Head West for Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Cross Country Teams in Preseason USTFCCCA Rankings
September 8, 2009 Pohl Claims First Women's Cross Country Athlete of The Week Award
September 5, 2009 Lumberjacks Capture Rain-Soaked George Kyte Classic Titles
September 1, 2009 Cross Country to Host George Kyte Classic Saturday
August 24, 2009 2009 Cross Country Season Preview
August 19, 2009 George Kyte Classic Registration Information
August 17, 2009 McNeill Finishes 24th at World Championships; Lomong Advances
August 14, 2009 Lomong and McNeill to Compete in IAAF World Championships