FAIRVIEW, Ore. – The third-ranked Oregon women’s cross country team swept the season opening PSU Viking Classic Friday at Blue Lake Park. The Duck women defeated Oregon State 22-33, Portland 16-30 and Portland State 15-43.
The No. 12 men fell to No. 8 Portland 25-31 and defeated Portland State 15-45.
“A good rust-buster is what I would call it,” said head coach Robert Johnson.”Good overall races and now we’ll go back and retool for the next one.”
Megan Patrignelli led a 1-2-4-5 finish for the women. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., won the three-mile race in 16:08.49.
“I’m really excited to finally be able to give back to my team,” said Patrignelli of her first win in an Oregon uniform. “We wanted to stay together. It was kind of like a get-your-feet-wet type race. We got out a little hard; a little harder than I expected. But it felt good.”
Patrignelli was backed by an inspired performance from Molly Grabill, who placed second in 16:10.52.
It was a satisfying race for Grabill, a sophomore from Poway, Calif., who was running in the Oregon singlet for the first time since being in a car accident last November that was caused when someone threw a rock off an Interstate 5 overpass through her windshield.
“How great is it for Molly to come in second after the year that she had?” said Johnson. “Her and Megan did a real nice job leading us today.”
The women also counted a third place finish from sophomore Abbey Leonardi (16:25.26), a fourth place finish from junior Mia Elbon (16:34.37) and a 13th place showing from freshman Skylar Evans (16:52.56).
For the men. Ryan Pickering finished the four-mile race second in 20:13.37 with Daniel Winn, from nearby Portland, third in 20:13.99.
“It felt like a good race,” said Pickering, a junior from West Palm Beach, Fla. “Portland is always a good challenge no matter when you race them and we know we’ll see them at Regionals and Nationals. They’re a good team and we’re a good team so it’s always a fun fight racing them.
The Duck men also had Matthew Melancon in sixth (20:20.21), Tim Costin ninth (20:27.33), Chris Brewer 12th (20:41.11) and Jeramy Elkaim 13th (20:45.05).
“It felt good just to get a race in after a long summer of working out,” said Pickering. “We were supposed to stay up in the top-five, top-10 for the race and try to stay controlled and keep the group together. That was the plan and we did a pretty good job today.
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