SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With three of its five scorers posting 6,000-meter PR’s, the Oregon State women’s cross country team ran to a 15th-place finish out of 32 squads at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country West Regional Championships in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday afternoon.
The Beavers were led by Kinsey Gomez, who finished 47th overall with a time of 20:42. It was her best performance in her third appearance at the regional meet, topping last fall’s 61st-place finish by over 20 seconds. The junior was able to run well despite battling a nagging injury to her shin for the past three weeks.
“Kinsey worked through some pretty tough circumstances,” Oregon State assistant coach Laura Harmon said. “We weren’t even sure if we were going to put her on the line. Her shin was pretty painful leading up to the race and last night. Emotionally getting on the line like that is challenging, but she responded to it amazingly well.”
Gomez was followed by redshirt freshman Emily Weber, who PR’d on a 6K course in her first appearance at the NCAA West Regional Championships, coming in 62nd with a time of 20:52. That mark is now the second-fastest 6K time in OSU history, trailing only Gomez’s 20:31.4 from the Bronco Invite this October.
Sandra Martinez came in third for the Beavers with another PR, running her race in 21:07 and beating her previous best at the distance, set as last year’s regional meet, by two seconds.
Freshmen Holly Cavalluzzo and Kristiane Width were Oregon State’s final two scorers. Cavalluzzo ran 21:15 to finish 89th and Width finished 127th after running 21:44. Cavalluzzo’s time matched her 6K PR set earlier this season at the Sundodger Invitational.
“Everyone got out and ran a smart race,” Harmon added. “We had a few PR’s and you have to walk away and be excited and happy with how everybody did. We ran faster and have a better team than we did last year, but we have an incredibly deep region.”
The Beavers’ youth will be well served with the experience gained from this season. All of Oregon State’s scorers from the conference and regional championships will return next year save for the senior Martinez.
“We feel really well-prepared [heading into 2014],” Harmon said. “We’ll have some experience coming back and also add some next year who are going to be huge contributors. In the past, we’ve only had one or two on the team who have really been able to race at conference of regionals. Now we have a handful and that will serve us well going forward.”