October 16, 2010

Horsch again has stellar day to lead Bears at Fort Hays State

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Men's Results | Women's Results

HAYS, Kan. – Junior Megan Horsch posted a career-best time in helping the Northern Colorado women's cross country team to a seventh-place finish (140 points) at the 2010 Tiger Cross Country Open, hosted by Fort Hays State. The men's team finished in 10th with 240 points.

"We continue to get stronger," said Head Coach John Gutierrez. "We continue to get faster. Our ultimate goal is to run well at conference."

Horsch placed eighth overall and sixth among collegians, running a 17:45.20 over the 5K course. She was the first non-Western State athlete to cross the finish line, as the Mountaineers swept the competition with 15 points and had seven of the top 15 finishers. Horsch becomes the first Northern Colorado student-athlete to run a sub-18 minute on the Fort Hays State course.

"Megan is running well and setting the standard," Gutierrez said. "She's having a great season. She's certainly doing a great job of leading the team and representing the university well."

Senior Denise Kintzley placed 26th overall and 21st in the scoring after clocking a season-best time of 18:57.10, despite suffering an ankle injury earlier in the week. Freshman Nicole O'Dwyer was next to cross the tape for the Bears, running a 19:05.70 for 31st overall. Fellow freshman Haley Hughes finished 49th in 19:50.90, while freshman Sammi Pitchford placed 59th in 20:19.30 for the Bears' 140 points.

Junior Sari Little ran a 20:52.80 for 75th place and sophomore Allie Sojourner was 83rd in 21:19.60.

Six of the seven men posted career-best times in the 8-kilometer race, led by senior Danny Sojka who finished 37th overall and 30th in the scoring after running a 25:48.20.

"Overall, the guys ran amazing," said Gutierrez. "They continue to get stronger overall as a team and we are in a very good position for conference."

Freshman Jason Kearns timed a 26:12.30 for 50th place overall, while fellow freshman John McCarthy was 68th with his time of 26:36.60. Freshman Cam McQueen placed 86th in 26:52.6 and senior Joe Pummer rounded out the scoring with his 90th place finish after timing a 27:02.10.

Freshman Kyle Kusmik posted a time of 27:27.90 for 105th overall for the final Bears' runner.

Both the men's and women's fields were much bigger than previous seasons as Western State swept the men's and women's titles with the men scoring 27 points.

The Bears have two weeks until they conclude the regular season at the Big Sky Conference Championship, hosted by Eastern Washington University on Oct. 30.