Finan Breaks Course Record, Leads UC Men's Cross Country to Queen City Invite Win
Alison Zukowski finished third in the women's 5,000-meter race.

Sept. 9, 2011

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Alexandria, Ky. - Senior Eric Finan (New Richmond, Ohio) finished the men's 5,000-meter race in a course-record time of 15:10.91 en route to leading the University of Cincinnati men's cross country team to a first-place finish Friday evening at the Queen City Invitational  at A.J. Jolly Park.

Junior Oliver Book (Borden, Ind.) took second place in 15:16.36 and three other Bearcats finished in the top 10 helping UC finish atop the team standings with 25 points.

"The one-two finish, I'm very pleased with that," Finan said. "My personal goal today was to win and anything short of that would have been a disappointment. I also planned on running with Oliver until the two-mile mark and encourage him. He's an incredible talent with a bright future."

Sophomore Kevin Fink (Tipp City, Ohio) crossed the finish line in fifth at 15:30.08, freshman Jeffrey Griffiths (New Richmond, Ohio) took ninth in 15:41.29 and junior Chase Beckmann (Blacklick, Ohio) finished 10th in 15:42.92.

UC finished well ahead of second-place Xavier (52 points) and third-place Northern Kentucky (67 points).  The men's team has won the invitational nine times in the past 11 years.

"I was really happy for Eric and Oliver," UC head coach Bill Schnier said. "They went out there from the very beginning and took charge and pushed the pace and no one could really keep up. A couple of Xavier guys challenged Oliver but he held them off with a nice kick."

"I expected a team finish something like this," Schnier said. "We anticipated a win. It's a very good team we have here at UC this year."

Senior Alison Zukowski (Mentor, Ohio) finished third in the women's 5,000-meter race in 18:21.10 behind a pair of Eastern Kentucky runners in Lydia Kosgei (17:43.80) and Picoty Leitich (18:05.50).

UC freshman Emily Clay (Bloomington, Ill.) took seventh place in 18:41.60.

The UC women's team finished third in the team standings (67 points), behind Xavier (38) and Eastern Kentucky (51).

"We had a good meet on the women's side," Schnier said. "We have some good people up front. Zukowski led for about half the race before the two Kenyan girls from Eastern Kentucky passed her up. She still ran well. Clay ran really well today too. Those two give us an awfully good one-two punch up front."

The squads travel to Nashville, Tenn., on Sept., 17 to compete in the Commodore Classic.