Alyssa Tyler editor in chief
Pittsburg State University cross country travelled to Seattle, WA., to compete in Nationals. When they came back, they brought two All Americans with them.
The women’s team placed 17th overall with a total score of 440 for the 6k race. Sophomore MAJOR Lara Murdock placed 13th with a time of 20:55. Murdock was given the All-American award from the NCAA for placing in the top 15. Freshman MAJOR Jentrie Alderson placed 62nd overall with a time of 21:46.6. Sophomore MAJOR Marissa Dick rounded out the top three with a position at 118th 23:32.0.
When Murdock crossed the finish line, she didn’t realize she was in the top 15 of the race.
“No, I was still shocked. My goal was top forty, so coming across the line surrounded by the girls that I was with was just unreal,” said Murdock.
The men’s team placed 20th overall with 459 points for the 10k race. Senior in management marketing Matthew Oglesby ran a time of 30:27.7 and finished 38th overall. Which named him an all American for placing in the top 40 by USTFCCCA. Sophomore MAJOR Braden Zaner ran a time of 30:53.5, placing him 52nd overall. Senior MAJOR Diego Contreras rounded out the top three with a time of 30:58.5, placing him at 61st
Compared to Murdock, Oglesby had an idea of how he was positioned throughout the race.
“Coming across the finish line I was extremely tired, and my legs were feeling pretty down. But I had some coaches and a couple guys giving me great feedback throughout the race. Of like, ‘hey this is what place you’re in,’ the last time I passed them I was in 37th. Then one guy passed me at the end, so like I knew, I was like ‘I’m All-American, I made it in.’ It’s not what I wanted like placement wise, but at least I got that. So, it was a good day,” Oglesby said.
Looking back on the season, the team came into the season with different approaches and priorities.
“It was definitely a different atmosphere. We came into the season with everybody saying that we wanted to go to nationals. And you could just tell that everyone had different priorities this year, that they were willing to sacrifice. Like, sleep, or just other things to put in the work that we needed to do to get there. Everyone worked really hard this year and it was just night and day compared to last year,” Murdock said.
Compared to the women’s team, the men’s team had some other difficulties facing them.
“It was different this year. We lost some pretty important guys, after graduating. So, it was a different team, but we are absolutely making it work. It’s still a great team, I would say it’s the best team Pitt State has ever had. And I hope that trend continues throughout the years,” Oglesby said.
Now that the cross-country season is over, the indoor track season is beginning on Dec. 9 at a home meet.