It was about 40 degrees with a light rain on Monday morning, but nonetheless there were tons of people at the race course. Neither the men’s or women’s race dissapointed.
Kyle Dawson was 73rd overall in 30:36 and Vince McNally was 103rd overall in 30:48 for the Nittany Lions. Both runners improved on their times from regionals.
The race shaped up essentially the way many people thought it would. Wisconsin ran just as strong today as they had all season and represented the Big Ten Conference at the top of the podium today – scoring 97 points. Following behind the Badgers were the Cowboys of Oklahoma State who scored 139 points. Just out of second place was Colorado, scoring 144 points. Rounding out the top 10 was BYU, Stanford, Oklahoma, Indiana, Portland, Iona, and N.C. State. See the full team results here.
There were no surprises at the front of the race, where Arizona freshman Lawi Lalang gapped the field at around the halfway point and finished in 28:44. That time was good enough for a new course record and a 13 second win over Stanford senior Chris Derrick (28:57). Iona senior Lenny Korir was 5 seconds back from Derrick in 3rd place. The top 32 men were all under 30 minutes for the 10K course.
One Kilometer into the race, senior Caitin Lane found herself in a familiar place: the front. However, being in the front of the most competitive race of the year was slightly different. She described the feeling as “hard and scary”. Lane said that she knew she was running well, but not that well (she ended up running 20:04 for 6K, good enough for 16th place and All-American status). “I was not expecting to hear that I placed that high,” Lane said. “It’s really special for me. I don’t think it’s hit me yet.”
Fellow captain Kara Millhouse was the second runner for PSU in 59th place. “I thought it went well,” she said. “I raced hard the entire way. I felt like I was competitive.” Kara also told me that while her place wasn’t as high as she would have liked, she was not disappointed. The defending Big Ten Champion in the 10K will now turn her focus to the track.
Overall, Penn State finished in an outstanding 13th place and was the top team out of the Big Ten.
“The team’s goal were to finish between 10th and 15th,” Head Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “They really had to push themselves towards this goal. I’m very proud of our girls today.”
There were more surprises on the girls’ side than the men’s. Florida State (the number one ranked team going into Monday) finished in fourth place. The race was won by Georgetown with 162 points. After that it was Washington, Villanova, FSU, Oregon and Vanderbilt.
With 400 meters to go in the race, there were still about 10 girls in contention for the win. Sheila Reid quickly took care of that. Her and Oregon junior Jordan Hasay put together one of the most spectacular finishes in recent history. Reid edged Hasay by just 0.6 seconds, winning in 19:41.2 for 6K. Dartmouth sophomore Abbey D’Agostino was close behind in 19:42. See complete results here.
For video interview as well as other coverage, check out Flotrack. Also, check back a little later on for a planned full recap of the race from me right here on Nittany Lions Den.