Moore Makes Impressive Debut for Men's Cross Country
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Freshman Nick Moore finished fourth to lead the SIUE men's cross country team in its season opener at the Ron Pynn Invitational hosted by the University of North Dakota Saturday morning.
The Cougars defeated the host Fighting Sioux from North Dakota 17-38 and picked up a 15-45 win over the Beavers of Minot State. The only loss for SIUE came against the two-time defending Summit League champion Jackrabbits from South Dakota State 20-35.
"For the first race out, we had a lot of positive things happen," said SIUE Head Coach Eileen McAllister. "The guys did really well at sticking to their strategy, which is a focus for the year. I couldn't be happier with that."
Making an impressive debut for the Cougars was Moore. The Springfield native led SIUE with a fourth-place finish completing the 8,000-meter course in 26 minutes, 23.01 seconds.
"It was an awesome showing from a freshman," said McAllister. "Nick ran right with his teammates which helped. He started to pull away after the two-mile mark and the other guys responded and went with him."
Close behind Moore was the top two Cougar runners from a year ago in junior Aaron Werths and senior Marc Amarillas. Werths ended the race in 26:29.31 while Amarillas ran the 8k in 26:36.06 to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
"Aaron showed a lot of control in the race staying with the plan which definitely paid off," added McAllister. "Marc had a bit of a calf issue, which tightened up on him during most of the race, but he still ran well."
Sophomore Campbell Walters also finished in the top 10 for SIUE placing ninth in a time of 26:53.39. Just outside the top 10 in 11th was senior Shawn Dillard. Dillard crossed the finish line in 27:04.24.
"Compared to this time last year, our paces were even faster than those of our 6k at Illinois," said McAllister. "They are already so much stronger than they were last year. For them to run these times without having another race before it was very good."
SIUE returns home for its next meet when it hosts the SIUE Cross Country Challenge Sept. 16 scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m.