SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Sarah Penney posted her best finish as a Duck to lead the Women of Oregon to victory, while Parker Stinson paced the men’s team Saturday at the sixth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational.
“Our women had good poise, I was really happy,” said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. “The men’s side was very impressive; I was actually more impressed with the guys.”
Penney led an imposing 3-4-5-6 finish for the Ducks as No. 17 Oregon captured the women’s team title with 26 points. Wisconsin was second with 73 points, followed by Portland (95), Oregon State ( 118) and Idaho (131).
Penney, a junior from Paradise Valley, Ariz., covered the 5,000-meter course at the Springfield Country Club in 16:46.97 to lead the Ducks. Junior Becca Friday was fourth in 16:49.00, sophomore Lanie Thompson was fifth in 16:51.60, senior Claire Michel took sixth in 16:51.97 and freshman Megan Patrignelli was eighth in 16:57.60 to round out the scoring for the Ducks.
“I feel great now that it’s over,” said Penney. “The girls are great. I honestly could not do it without them.”
From the outset, Oregon ran strongly as a team. The Ducks had five runners in the top 20 after one lap and upped that to five in the top 15 at the midway point. Oregon then solidified its win on the final lap with all five runners moving up into the top 10.
“We won the team title by running in a pack,” said Thompson. “We are a solid pack.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we are definitely still focusing. Running in a pack makes the race seem easier.”
Hannah Kisler of Idaho came from deep in the field and took the lead with less than 50 meters remaining to win the individual title in 16:45.71. Gabi Anzalone of Wisconsin sprinted out to an early lead before fading behind Aliphine Tuliamuk of Wichita State 3,000 meters in. Tuliamuk appeared to be in control entering the final turn when Kisler came from out of nowhere and passed several runners over the last 200 meters before passing Tuliamuk with a final kick down the homestretch.
“I think I just started a little bit behind the main pack,” said the sophomore from Wenatchee, Wash. “They got out a little too fast. It was really crowded at first and then everyone settled down.
“(At the end of the race) I was kind of just waiting for everyone to kick past me and it didn’t happen.”
In the men’s race, No. 2 Wisconsin established itself in the lead pack from the outset and impressed by placing five runners in the top seven. The Badgers won with 24 points, with No. 8 Oregon second with 59 points, followed by Southern Utah (104), Idaho (110) and UC Riverside (113).
Four of Oregon’s five counting scores were posted by freshmen or sophomores.
Parker Stinson, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, was the first Duck to cross the finish line as he completed the 8,000-meter course in 23:23.85. Fellow sophomore Brian Shrader was 10th in 23:57.13.
“Believe it or not, a five-mile race comes down to the last 100 meters, so I’ll just wait a little bit longer next time,” said Stinson
The Ducks also counted a 15th-place finish from freshman Ryan Pickering (24:07.48) and a 16th-place showing from senior Bryce Burgess (24:10.69). Cole Watson wrapped up Oregon’s scoring in his cross country debut. The redshirt freshman from Rogue River, Ore., finished 20th in 24:18.88.
“I like our chances,” said Lananna. “I think everyone has us picked in the back of the pack but I think we will pull through.
“They all ran together and followed instructions beautifully. They were focused the entire race.”
Cameron Levens of Southern Utah went to the front of the men’s race on the first lap and never relinquished it, though he never quite shook the Wisconsin pack and UC Riverside’s Chad Hall.
Levens reached the finish line in 23:10.51 for an eight-second victory.
“That was the goal,” said Levens. “I thought I could do it, but it can all change when you get out on the course.”
Wisconsin was led by Reed Connor, who was the runner-up in 23:18.88. Hall took third in 23:18.91, followed by four more Wisconsin runners within a second of each other: Ryan Collins (23:22.79), Mohammed Ahmed (23:22.93), Elliot Krause (23:22.95) and Maverick Darling (23:23.35).
“It’s early in the season,” said Connor. “This is getting us ready for the end of the season. We’re going to see (Oregon) a lot and there’s a lot of respect there when we go to each other’s meets.”
Both Oregon teams rested some key performers. The women won without defending Pac-10 champion Jordan Hasay, as well as junior Anne Kessering and freshmen Allie Woodward. The men were without senior Luke Puskedra, sophomore Mac Fleet and freshman Lukas Verzbicas.
The men also had two freshmen run unattached in Chad Noelle, who was 12th in 24:04.85, and Jeramy Elkaim, who was 13th in 24:05.74.