GUNNISON, Colo. –The Trinidad State men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Gunnison this weekend to compete in the Mountaineer Invite against stellar competition. The Trojan women placed 7th in the 8-team field while the men finished 6th out of 8 teams.
Benadine Chelimo placed 10th overall to lead the ladies squad with a time of 18:56.74 over the 5,000 meter course; her fastest time ever. Toni Moore finished shortly after in 40th with a time of 20:27. Mary Baldwin made big improvement over last week finishing in 21:07, good for 49th place. Camille Ruggles (65th), Kathryn Sauerwein (71st), and Vanessa Davis (78th) wrapped up a strong performance from the women's team. Sophie Seward of Western State took the individual meet title as her Western State team also won.
Coach Lauren Masterson said of the Trojan's performance, "Our ladies performed well. We had some large improvements from Mary Baldwin and Camille Ruggles that I was very proud of. Benadine Chelimo did a great job battling with some good runners at the front of the race for us. Unfortunately, Toni Moore has been battling an injury, but I know that once she gets feeling better she's going to be a force for us."
In the men's race Marcelo Laguera of CSU-Pueblo took the individual win. Godfrey Chama had another strong performance finishing in 19th place with a time of 27:30. Riley Allen and Derek Holdsworth were not far behind him in 37th (27:59) and 39th (28:07) place respectively. Bailey Smith ran a strong race placing 50th overall in a time of 28:28, followed shortly thereafter by John McMahon who placed 52nd overall in a time of 28:36. Joseph Enright (68th), Brandon Cardenas (69th) and Richard Sais (73rd) wrapped up the Trojan pack.
"Our men's team showed a lot of savvy racing in Gunnison," said Coach Masterson. "Overall we were very patient early on in the race and attacked late as the competition began to tire. Derek Holdsworth, Bailey Smith, and John McMahon really did a good job keeping our scoring five runners close together. That will pay off well for us at the end of the season."
The TSJC runners will have a few weeks of strong training before they're back in action on October 13th at the Fort Hays State University Tiger Open.