October 17, 2015
Curtin wins at NCAA Pre-National cross country meet
The fifth-year senior beats the two-time defending national champion
NCAA Pre-National Invitational results

Men's 8K results (seeded race)

Women's 6K results (seeded race)

Men's 8K results (unseeded race)

Women's 6K results (unseeded race)

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech cross country runner Thomas Curtin recorded his first career win in cross country on Saturday, beating a 288-runner field at the NCAA Pre-National meet held at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Curtin ran the race in a career-best time of 23 minutes, 18.2 seconds, edging two-time defending national champion Edward Cheserek of Oregon by more than four seconds. Curtin jumped out to a big lead and then held on at the end to edge Cheserek, who won the cross country national title as both a freshman and a sophomore.

Behind Curtin, the Hokies finished in sixth place in the team competition. Colorado won the meet in what was a loaded field – 11 ranked teams were in the field – followed by Oregon, Arkansas, UTEP and Georgetown.

Stuart Robertson was the Hokies’ second finisher in the meeting, coming in 34th with a time of 23:47.8. Neil Gourley was right behind him, coming in 35th with a time of 23:47.9.

Darren Barlow finished 60th for the Hokies with a time of 24:04.5. Patrick Joseph came in 93rd with a time of 24:16.4, while Peter Seufer was 100th with a time of 24:19.1. Diego Zarate was 261st with a time of 25:24.2.

“I was really happy with our men's efforts,” Tech cross country coach Ben Thomas said. “We executed our race plan very well and beat some pretty strong teams.

“Tommy Curtin led from gun to tape against some of the very best in the NCAA. The Oregon kid [Cheserek] is often talked about as the best in NCAA history, so Tommy is coming around nicely.

“We had really nice improvements from Joseph, Barlow and Gourley. Robertson was solid as well, although I think he can move closer to Tommy's level. If he does, we'll be dangerous at ACC's. [Daniel] Jaskowak had a nice PR as well in the unseeded race. We'll need him at ACC's.”

A five-member contingent of Hokies ran in the unseeded race. Jaskowak led the way, finishing 12th in that race with a time of 24:20.8. Brent Musselman (25th, 24:39.5), Gaige Kern (27th, 24:43.8), Vincent Ciattei (50th, 24:59.3) and Andrew Eason (170th, 26:19.9) also competed.

On the women’s side, Katie Kennedy led the Hokies’ efforts, coming in 104th with a time of 21:10.8. Behind her, the Tech women finished in 25th place out of 45 teams.

Abigail Motley finished 123rd overall with a time of 21:15.4, while Lauren Berman was 125th with a time of 21:16.9. Amanda Swaak (150th, 21:27.5), Hanna Green (169th, 21:34.4), Shannon Morton (189th, 21:40.9) and Julie Wiemerslage (196th, 21:43.0) also competed for the Hokies.

“The girls are coming along,” Thomas said. “Green and Morton were off today, but that's due largely to a hard training week. You have to pick your battles in cross country, and I know they'll be ready to lead us at ACC's in two weeks. Kennedy, Berman and Swaak are getting better every race. The girls will be ready for ACC's. I have no doubts about that.”

Four members of the women’s squad ran in the unseeded race and were led by Emily Beatty, who finished 135th overall with a time of 22:41.4. Jillian Everly (146th, 22:47.9), Tessa Riley (168th, 23:05.3) and Alyssa Shupe (187th, 23:24.9) rounded out this group.

On Friday, several Tech runners competed at the Wake Forest Invitational held at Beeson Park in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. On the men’s side, Jaun Campos came in 11th overall out of 174 runners with a time of 25:19.76, while Ashkan Mohammadi was 30th with a time of 25:44.69, and Andrew Goldman finished 44th with a time of 25:57.35.

On the women’s side, Shalonda Mitchell came in 59th overall out of 173 runners with a time of 23:17.14. Anne Grumbine (71st, 23:33.52), Laura Sullivan (72nd, 23:33.98), and Shannon Quinn (116th, 24:55.37) also ran at the meet.

The Hokies now gear up for the ACC Championships, which will be held at the Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida on Oct. 30. The men’s race starts at 9 a.m., with the women’s race beginning at 9:45 a.m.

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