Cross-country runs to another top finish
The NAU cross-country squad traveled to Madison, Wisconsin and ran against some of the top teams in the nation at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. 20 of the men’s teams that participated are nationally ranked in the top 30, including No. 10 Oregon, No. 9 NC State, No. 7 Indiana, No. 6 BYU, No. 4 Stanford and tournament host Wisconsin (No. 2). The Lumberjacks are currently No. 13 in the nation.
Lumberjack senior Diego Estrada shined in the race, finishing third overall with a time of twenty-three minutes and twenty-six seconds, and beating out the defending Adidas Invitational champion, Princeton’s Donn Cabral, by four seconds.
Estrada is no stranger to strong and resilient finishes. At the beginning of October, at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree, he overcame a nine-second deficit and turned it into a 13-second lead in the final mile, along with a first place finish.
“Diego had a good race,” said cross-country coach Eric Heins, via NAU Athletics. “He still ran strong, and overall he was satisfied with his finish.”
Estrada helped lead the Lumberjacks to an eighth place overall-finish. Senior Jordan Chipangama was the second Jack to cross the finish line, running the five-mile course in 24:25, finishing 39th. Junior Tim Freriks came in 66th with a time of 24:37, followed by seniors John Yatsko at 99th with a time of 24:49 and Andrew Belus at 125th coming in at 24:58.
“We were running in fifth place as a team at the 5K mark,” Heins said via NAU Athletics. “So, our finish told us that we need to work on finishing stronger.”
The women’s team finished 28th overall, beating out some big name programs such as Texas A&M, Ohio State and UCLA.
“Ideally we want our third, fourth and fifth runners to finish a bit higher,” Heins said, via NAU Athletics. “But overall this was a great experience for our younger runners.”
Junior Rochelle Kanuho, with a time of 20:53, lead the women’s team in 41st place while junior Kortnee Burton, finishing at 21:08, followed in 67th. Freshman Caroline Hogardh finished in 161st with a time of 21:42, junior Agnes Laurent crossed the finish line in 164th with a time of 21:43, and senior Haley Lawrence finishing at 21:53 in 189th.
Both teams will take a break this week as they prepare for the Big Sky Championships in Pocatello, Idaho on October 29th.