Oklahoma State Cross Country Prepares For Cowboy Jamboree
Press Release OSU:
The Oklahoma State men’s and women’s cross country teams will host the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater.
Follow The Meet
Fans can attend the meet in person or follow the action live on Twitter by following @run4okstate for updates. Final results will be published on www.okstate.com. Admission is free to the public.
Saturday’s Cowboy Jamboree will begin with the College/JUCO women’s and men’s races at 8 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., respectively. The Oklahoma State women’s squad will hit the course for the University women’s competition at 9:15 a.m. After the Cowgirls complete their 5K run, the Cowboys will take the starting line for their 10K trek, set to begin at 9:45 a.m.
A Look Back – 2013 Cowboy Jamboree
Last year’s Cowboy Jamboree was dominated by the Oklahoma State distance crew, as the Cowboys and Cowgirls each recorded their fourth-consecutive team victory at the event. After a two-hour weather delay, the Cowgirls delivered the highest team score behind a second-place finish from Monika Juodeskaite (17:30.73) and top-15 finishes from Kate Kujawa (ninth), Natalie Baker (11th), Kristine Helle (14th) and Anna Boyert (15th).
The Cowboys were matched up against a slew of tough competition, including second-ranked Northern Arizona, but four top-ten finishes helped Oklahoma State grind out a meet-winning score. Kirubel Erassa’s second-place time of 24:28.16 led the way for the Pokes, while Shadrack Kipchirchir (third), Tom Farrell (sixth) and Joseph Manilafasha (seventh) followed close behind.
Last Time Out – Bluegrass Invitational
Luis Martinez and Caileigh Glenn each recorded top-ten finishes in their respective races to lead the Oklahoma State men’s and women’s cross country teams at the Bluegrass Invitational in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, Sept. 13.
Martinez’s sixth-place time of 24:15.73 marked the fastest of three top-ten times for the Cowboys, as David Osborn (24:21.59) and Anthoney Armstrong (24:30.94) finished the 8K competition in seventh and 10th, respectively. Noah Gade’s 12th-place mark of 24:34.01 rounded out a trio of redshirt freshmen in the top 15, helping the men’s side to a narrow second-place finish as a team.
On the women’s side, the Cowgirls registered a third-place team finish behind top-20 runs from Gintare Zenkeviciute, Emily Helms and Glenn, whose fifth-place time of 17:02.50 shattered her previous personal best by over a minute.
Natalie Baker (17:31.70) and Savannah Camacho (18:15.30) also recorded individual bests, with Camacho’s performance coming in her first cross country appearance since the 2013 Cowboy Jamboree. Baker and Camacho made their 2014 cross country debuts in Saturday’s race, while freshman Abbie Hetherington recorded a 27th-place time of 17:43.40 in her first appearance in collegiate competition.
Assistant Coach Bobby Lockhart – Meet Comments
On the Cowboy Jamboree serving as a stepping stone for OSU’s up-and-coming talent:
“I guess for the younger guys, yes, it is a stepping stone because it’s either their first or second race. That was a big reason why we raced out in Kentucky, since these guys haven’t raced cross country in quite some time. We feel, with a couple more races under their belt, that they’ll do a little bit better at the end of the season. This is a big one for them. Most of our team, minus one guy, will be racing, so it’ll be their first true test of kind of seeing where they are on the team and how they rank. Of course, this is also the coaches’ first opportunity to see the guys really open it up and see where they are on the team, which will ultimately determine our championship team at the end of the year.
On how Luis Martinez and the rest of the team’s redshirt freshmen have performed this year:
“Luis has had a great season so far. Of course, he hasn’t seen much with the competition, but he was running with some of the top guys from Eastern Kentucky, who I think is ranked 20 th in the country right now. Seeing him be able to battle with those guys as a redshirt freshman is pretty promising, mainly in terms of the team’s depth, but also with how far these redshirt freshmen have come along in a year. They looked fantastic at Kentucky, especially with running stride-for-stride against one of the country’s top-20 teams. For Luis and some of the younger guys, it’ll really be their first chance to run in a competitive environment.”
On the importance of winning the Cowboy Jamboree:
“We want to win, for sure. The competition this year isn’t what it has been in the last couple of years, but the mindset is the same. We want to go out and win in front of the home crowd, which is really, really cool considering we don’t have a lot of competitions here. It’s important for us. More often than not, we’ve won it, but we want to keep winning, for sure.
On OSU’s leaders competing in their first race of the season:
“We sort of know what we’re going to expect from those guys, especially guys like Kirubel [Erassa], Shane [Moskowitz] and David [Osborn]. They’re all seniors, so they’ll be patient for the first half of the race. What we’re really looking forward to is seeing the second half of the race and the last 3K, where we can see how they kind of run off of the base, initially, and then see if the youngsters can make a move and go with them. I think those guys will run exceptionally well.”
The Stars Emerge
This weekend’s Cowboy Jamboree will see several of Oklahoma State’s top runners make their season debuts. Four Cowboys (Craig Nowak, Kirubel Erassa, Brian Gohlke and Shane Moskowitz) will make their first appearance since last year’s NCAA Championships, while newcomer Vegard Oelstad will run in his first race as a Cowboy.
On the women’s side, Monika Juodeskaite, Adela Hofmannova and Kristine Helle will sport OSU colors for the first time this season, and Natalja Piliusina will join the Cowgirls for the first time in more than a year after sitting out the 2013 season with an injury.