STILLWATER, Okla. – Paced by first-place finishes from Belle Wallace and Liam Meirow, the Oklahoma men's and women's cross country teams put together a strong showing in its 2017 season opener on Friday morning at the Cowboy Duals, held at the OSU Cross Country Course.
The women's team went 3-0 in dual competition, defeating Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. The men's team went 1-2 Friday morning, downing Tulsa but falling to Oklahoma State and Arkansas.
“I thought the performance was really nice," OU cross country associate coach Kevin Ondrasek said. "The women definitely showed up this summer much fitter than they did last year, so that’s really promising. Our spread was really tight on the women’s side, so they’re going to be a tough team to beat later on.
“Our men ran like we’re young because we are a little young," he continued. "I think we’ve got two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. They took a risk early on, and it worked out for a couple of them, and a couple of them paid a pretty big price for it. We’re trying to celebrate taking a risk today, and that was kind of the whole point."
Wallace clocked in at 10:27.5 in the women's 3K, followed closely by fellow senior Sarah Scott, who claimed second with a time of 10:39.1. Isabella Rose, Morgan Long and Grace Barber were OU's next finishers, placing fifth (10:49.1), seventh (10:52.6) and 16th (11:10.4), respectively.
Also competing in the women's race were Alexandria Arndorfer (18th; 11:15.1), CeCe Moore (22nd; 11.21.3), Lauren Gibbs (24th; 11:28.6) and Sophia Fernald (30th; 11:49.2).
Meirow won the men's 5K race with a time of 15:26.5, 5 seconds faster than the runner up. Zach Gentry and Brendan Taylor placed 10th (15:54.2) and 11th (15:54.6), while freshmen Ryan Tuescher and Matthew Andorfer took 13th (16:01.4) and 14th (16:03.2) in their collegiate debuts.
Rounding out the OU finishers on the men's side were Heath Warren (17th; 16:17.5) and Chris Staub (22nd; 16:39.2).
The Sooners return to action on Sept. 16 for the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton, Texas.