Cross-country opens season at Arkansas Tech

by Jessica Flynn

The JBU men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the 2011 Arkansas Tech University Twilight Meet on Friday. The men finished third out of six teams in the 4-mile, and the women placed third out of four teams in the 2-mile.

For the men, freshman Marcos Gutierrez, sophomore Tekste Gebreslasse, and freshman Sare Goitom finished one, two, and three for JBU with times of 21:37, 21:56, and 22:02. Overall, they finished 8th, 11th and 13th respectively.

On the women’s side, sophomore Melissa Roth finished first for JBU and 11th overall with a time of 12:30. Sophomore Valerie Kliewer came in second for JBU and 12th overall with a time of 12:38, and freshman Kari Miller finished third for JBU and 13th overall with a time of 12:43.

“We were in a lot better spot than we were a year ago at this time,” said head coach Matt Pearson. “Melissa Roth was right on target and ran exactly what she wanted to run. She and Valerie are in a lot better shape than last year. Kari Miller was right behind her as a freshman. I’m proud of them all.”

Pearson was also proud of the men who finished on top for the Golden Eagles.

“Marco Gutierrez did phenomenal and met his time he wanted to run,” said Pearson. “He ran four miles at a faster pace than he ran his three miles in high school. I’m also really glad Tekste Gebreslasse is running. He wasn’t able to run for us last year. Goitom was right behind them. They all did really well. We are in better shape than we were last year so I’m excited.”

Both teams are now preparing to travel to Joplin, Mo. to compete in the Missouri Southern Stampede 5K/8K on Saturday, September 17.

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