Gorillas look to rebound
Michael Bauer | Sports Reporter
The Pittsburg State cross country teams will be looking to regroup this week after failing to achieve their goals at the Roy Griak Invitational as the men’s team finished 16th while the women took 10th.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Gorillas made the much-anticipated trip up to St. Paul, Minn., to compete in one of the biggest races in the NCAA, but the end results left PSU with a bitter taste.
“It was a little disappointing, to be honest,” head coach Russ Jewett said. “We went up there with a lot of objectives and goals to accomplish and we accomplished very few of those objectives and goals.”
But it wasn’t for lack of effort, the coach said.
“We had some mental lapses in the middle. I think each team, women’s and men’s, executed our race plan early and well and that set us up to be fatigued and I’m not sure how we handled that mentally or physically.”
Devon Young was the leader of the men’s team, finishing 21st with a time of 26:11, while Ethan Silovsky placed 36th with a time of 26:44. Colorado-Colorado Springs University won the meet with a score of 93 points while its very own Emillio Trujillo won the race with a time of 25:23.
Led by Kaley Temaat, the Gorilla women finished 10th overall with a total of 238 points. Temaat took 16th pulling in with a time of 23:10. Her teammate Hannah Devries was less than a minute behind, finishing 26th in 23:35. Just as the men’s race, Colorado-Colorado Springs asserted its dominance, winning the women’s meet as well with 119 points.
“We’re pretty big about having high goals and objectives and expectations going into a meet and not just letting whatever happens happen, ” Jewett said. “We didn’t do that so we didn’t achieve our objectives. I think the kids shared in my disappointment, but that’s just part of athletics. There were a few people who had really good races, but not enough for us to do well as a team.”
The Gorillas went into the meet going up against some of the same teams from the conference that they would not see again until conference championships. Those teams included Southwest Baptist, Northwest Missouri State and Nebraska-Kearney. All three schools finished ahead of the PSU men and Southwest Baptist and Central Missouri finished ahead of the PSU women’s team.
Next up for the Gorilla cross country teams will be the Missouri S&T Jackling Invitational on Oct. 6.
Jewett says that it could be challenging racing two weekends in a row but also said they will adjust accordingly.
“Sometimes it’s difficult racing back-to-back weekends, but many of our kids will do that,” Jewett said. “We’ll adjust our training before that meet. We’ll need to get some things straightened out, we need to get better still in the middle of our race now that we can execute the early part of our race and just have a little more confidence.”
This meet will feature only Division II schools and while it may not be the biggest meet of this young season for the Gorillas, it will still have competitive teams in attendance, including Missouri Southern, which was picked to finish first in the MIAA conference in the preseason polls for the men and whose women’s team finished third at the Missouri Southern Stampede last month.