Oct. 13, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
In another impressive race, freshman Ernest Kibet led the University of Louisville men's cross country team to a 12th-place finish Saturday morning at the NCAA Division I Pre-National Meet at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park, the site of the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Kibet placed in the top 20 among a competitive field that boasted multiple NCAA track and cross country All-American, finishing 18th in a season-best 8K time of 23:45.7. The Kenyan native averaged a 4:47 mile split and, through the first 2K, clocked a time of 2:46 that kept him with the leaders of the race. Earlier this season, Kibet secured the first win of his career at the adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Sept. 15.
"He had a solid race and he's been pretty consistent," assistant coach Joe Walker said of Kibet. "Gordon did a good job too of running his race. If we can get the rest of the group with Ernest, then we would have had a different outcome."
Japhet Kipkoech, Edwin Kibichiy and Gordon Dooley completed the race in a tight pack as the Cardinals' second-, third-, and fourth-place runners, finishing within five seconds of each other. Kipkoech took 67th overall with a time of 24:13.79, Kibichiy registered a 79th-place finish and Dooley took 82nd in a time of 24:18.7. Mattias Wolter rounded out the Cardinals' scoring runners, as he took 138th in 24:45.5.
"Hopefully, it's a little bit of an incentive to put it together by BIG EAST," Walker added. "We got a good look at Villanova and Georgetown. We know it's right there. The top 5-6 teams are very close in the BIG EAST."
Collectively, the Cardinals had a strong team performance, defeating No. 23-ranked William & Mary, which finished 14th at Saturday's meet. William & Mary also is ranked ahead of the Cardinals regionally at No. 2 in the Southeast. Louisville also outpaced Kentucky, which is ranked ahead of the Cardinals at No. 15 regionally. The Wildcats finished the meet 13 places behind Louisville at No. 25.
On the women's side, the Cardinals were led by Michelle Molodynia. The sophomore registered a career-best 6K time of 22:16.0 to place 45th overall, 32 in scoring and lead Louisville to a 24th-place finish in the team standings.
Maria Frigo, for the second time this season, finished the race as the Cardinals' second placewinner with a 138th-place finish. Megan Klein was Louisville's next scoring runner, taking 170th, and Cassie Martin and Paige Dooley rounded out the team's top-five finishers.
The Cardinals return to action in two weeks at the BIG EAST Championships in Bronx, N.Y., at Van Cortland Park. The Oct. 26 event will be hosted by St. John's University.
"It's a much small field, so it changes the race dynamic," Walker said on the difference between racing at Pre-Nationals and the league championships. "You suddenly go from 40 teams to less than 20 teams. You become a lot more aware of where you are and should be; the conference championships is more man versus man."
For the latest information on Louisville cross country and track and field, log on to UofLsports.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/uofltrackxc or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uofltrackxc.
MEN'S RED TEAM RESULTS
1. Colorado, 72; 2. BYU, 127; 3. Oregon, 152; 4. Florida State, 275; 5. Duke, 287; 12. LOUISVILLE, 384
MEN'S INDIVIDUAL RED RESULTS
18. Ernest Kibet, 23:45.7; 67. Japhet Kipkoech, 24:13.3; 79. Edwin Kibichiy, 24:18.4; 82. Gordon Dooley, 24:18.7; 138. Mattias Wolter, 24:45.5; (183.) Ryan Eaton, 25:07.4; (230.) Evan Hibbs, 25:39.4
WOMEN'S BLACK TEAM RESULTS
1. Utah Valley, 154; 2. West Virginia, 157; 3. South Carolina, 186; 4. Utah State, 188; 5. Furman, 189; 24. LOUISVILLE, 570
WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL BLACK RESULTS
45. (32) Michelle Molodynia, 22:16.0; 138. (108) Maria Frigo, 23:21.1; 170. (132) Megan Klein, 23:45.0; 191. (144) Cassie Martin, 24:07.0; 207. (154) Paige Dooley, 24:29.6; 209. (156) Kelsey Cramsey, 24:31.5; 222. (163) Leah Kiyohara, 24:58.1