SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – For the second straight week, freshman Edward Cheserek led the fourth ranked Men of Oregon to a hard fought seven-point victory, this time over Boise State and nine other teams, Saturday at the eighth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational.
The Duck women ran second to No. 7 Washington on a sunny fall morning before an estimated crowd of 1,500 at Springfield Country Club.
“(The men) were spot on,” said Oregon head coach Robert Johnson. “They followed our instructions to get out early and stay as a pack; that was the plan we pitched.
“(The women) did really well,” said Johnson. “Washington is really good. We will add a couple pieces to the puzzle in the next week for Pre-Nationals. It was a good hard effort considering they went back-to-back weekends racing. We wanted to simulate championship season.”
From the outset, the Duck men were engaged in a tight contest with Boise State that included a fall in the first 50 meters by one of Oregon’s top runners, Jeramy Elkaim, and was not decided until Oregon’s fifth runner, Ryan Pickering, crossed the tape in 16th, giving the men their first Dellinger victory since 2010.
Cheserek was one of three Ducks in the top six, but the Broncos placed all five of their runners in the top 13. The freshman from Newark, N.J., took second, covering the 8,000 meter course in 24:00.
“I did exactly what the goal was for the race today,” said Cheserek. “Running as a team and going for the win as a team was the goal for the race.”
Senior Parker Stinson took fourth for Oregon in 24:17, and the men also saw a strong performance from Daniel Winn, who was sixth in 24:22 as the junior from Portland, Ore., turned is his best race as a Duck.
“We wanted to run as a team,” said Stinson. “Obviously we do it in workouts and it was the reason we went to camp. Getting that camaraderie and making sure everyone is on the same page is really important. We need to understand that working as a team is what we do in workouts and races.”
The Broncos, which came into the meet ranked sixth in the West Region, countered with Allan Schroeder taking fifth in 24:19 to lead a BSU finish that went 5-7-9-11-13.
However, the Ducks showed enough depth to make up for Elkaim’s fall with sophomore Matthew Melancon 10th in 24:26 and Pickering, a junior from West Palm Beach, Fla., moving up to 16th on the final lap in 24:39. The Ducks also had freshman Chris Brewer 21st in 24:44, with Elkaim recovering for a 40th place finish in 25:13.
Oregon won with 32 points, followed by BSU with 39, and Washington and No. 8 Portland tied with 87. Gonzaga was fifth with 121 points, followed by Wichita State (182), Idaho (214), the UO Running Club (259), Portland State (259), Seattle (274) and Mt. SAC (277).
Washington’s Aaron Nelson pulled away from the field early and held off Cheserek to win in 23:55.
In the women’s race, the Huskies placed five runners in the top 13 to clip No. 5 Oregon. Washington won with 30 points, followed by Oregon with 52, Boise State with 63, Portland with 81 and Wichita State with 163. Idaho was sixth with 175 points, followed by Gonzaga (186), Seattle (223), Portland State (251) and Mt. SAC (328).
Megan Patrignelli led Oregon with her sixth place finish. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., covered the 5,000 meter course in 16:57.
“We were coming off Boston last week so I think everyone was a little tired,” said Patrignelli. “Not that it’s an excuse for anything, but I think we could have done a little better. Overall, I think everyone gave their best effort and that’s really all we could ask.”
The Ducks also had sophomore Molly Grabill 14th in 17:20, sophomore Abbey Leonardi 15th in 17:23, freshman Maggie Schmaedick 16th in 17:24 and senior Sarah Penney 18h in 17:34.
“It was alright,” said Grabill. “We came off racing in Boston last weekend so we were a little bit tired racing seven days after a race. We were able to see what we need to work on further down the season.”
The women’s race was won by Alexa Efraimson, running unattached, in 16:35.
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