Bearcats hang with nation's top teams at Pre-Nationals Invitational
Colin Cotton

Oct. 13, 2012

The University of Cincinnati men’s cross country team finished 36th in a field of some of the nation’s best programs at the Pre-Nationals Invitational, held at the E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky. Saturday. At the same event, the UC women’s team ran in a race for unseeded teams and finished 16th.

The Bearcats, who are 10th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Great Lakes Region ranking, were part of the day’s most competitive men’s race that included all of the seeded teams. Four UC men’s runners posted personal-best times in a pace that was blazing fast. Anthony Rotich, from the University of Texas-El Paso, won the 8k race in 23:01.0. Colin Cotton was UC’s No. 1 runner, finishing 85th overall in 24:19.9, and Chase Beckmann ran No. 2, finishing 149th overall in 24:52.7. Both times were 20 seconds faster than their previous 8k personal records.

Evan Baum returned again from his co-op in New York City to meet the team at the race site and compete, running No. 3 for UC and finishing 196th overall in 25:14.2. Eric Hauser was the fourth Bearcats runner and was 199th overall in 25:14.7, an eight-second improvement in his personal record. Jeffrey Griffiths, who has run No. 2 or 3 in each of the previous meets this season, suffered an injury during the run and finished 251st in 26:02.9. The injury significantly slowed Griffiths as he was a minute off his 8k best.

Jacob Franklin was 255th overall in 26:11.9 (improving his personal record by 17 seconds) and Ian Silver rounded out the UC runners, finishing 271st in 26:58.2.



The Bearcats women’s team competed in the unseeded race and outran fellow BIG EAST Conference member and event host University of Louisville to finish 16th in the team standings. As she has in each meet this season, Emily Clay ran No. 1, finishing 36th in 22:05.7. Kaitlyn Meyer was No. 2 and 94th overall in 22:51.0. Alex Mahle improved to No. 3 for UC, finishing 113th overall in 23:05.3. Anne Pace and Ashley Earman rounded out the top five, placing back-to-back in 132nd and 133rd in 23:19.0 and 23:19.5, respectively.

Alison Zukowski, running in just her second meet since returning from injury, finished 142nd in 23:19.5, Amber McAlpine was 142nd in 23:23.5, Stephanie Mee was 206th in 24:28.8 and Lauren Goodwin was 232nd in 25:45.1.

The teams will next compete in the BIG EAST Conference championships in New York City on October 26.