Gomez, Oregon State off to best start since bringing cross-country program back in 2004
After two second-place finishes in the Oregon State women’s cross-country team’s first two meets, the Beavers finished fifth out of 19 on Friday in Sacramento, Calif., at the Inter Regional Jamboree. They competed against a strong field that included seven teams ranked in the top 15 in the West Region.
Junior Kinsey Gomez led the pack for the Beavers, finishing 11th overall with a time of 17:10, besting her personal record in the 5,000-meter by more than 30 seconds. Gomez was followed by redshirt freshman Emily Weber in 22nd, with a time of 17:26, and freshman Holly Cavalluzo, who finished in 29th with a time of 17:33.
Freshman Kristiane Width finished in 17:43, finishing 40th overall. Senior Sandra Martinez was the final OSU runner to score, finishing in 45th overall with a time of 17:47.
After finishing fifth at the most recent race, OSU cross-country is off to one of its strongest starts since the beginning of the program in 2004. Gomez, the experienced junior, and a strong group of freshmen — Cavalluzo, Width and Weber — have led the Beavers.
Assistant coach Laura Harmon said the team is excited about the future after the fast start to 2013 and expects the success to build the program for years to come.
“It helps us with recruiting, which helps us build our team for the future,” Harmon said.
Gomez said she was “very excited,” about the upcoming season and what she, and Oregon State, could accomplish this year.
Harmon said OSU is constantly recruiting the same athletes as the other Pac-12 schools, and this season’s success has been a result of recent recruiting classes, which speaks to the job the coaching staff is doing.
“It’s exciting,” Gomez said. “We are hoping to create our own history.”
OSU hopes to continue to build the history in its next two races at the Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational on Oct. 19, and the Beaver Classic on Oct. 25.
Even with one of the best teams in recent years, the Beavers will still have to compete against Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Colorado in the Pac-12, all of which are ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
“We expect to finish in the top half (of the Pac-12),” Harmon said. “It’s fun to race against teams like Oregon.”
The Beavers have time to prepare considering they don’t face many Pac-12 schools until the Pac-12 Championships on Nov. 2.
Oregon State will look to build momentum in those two races for the Pac-12 Championships, where the team will try to finish in the upper half of the conference for the first time in four years.
Scott McReynolds, sports reporter
On Twitter @scottmcreynold4