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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Maroon Cross Country Teams Finish Among the Best at Pre-National Event

Khia Kurtenbach and Ryan Cutter
Khia Kurtenbach and Ryan Cutter


ELSAH, Ill. – Both University of Chicago men's and women's cross country squads posted solid finishes in one of the most competitive meets of the year in Saturday's Principia Cowbell Classic – also known as Pre-Nationals – Saturday in at the North Farm Cross Country Facility in Elsah, Ill.

Senior Khia Kurtenbach led the No. 6 women's team to an eighth-place overall finish, as she earned runner-up honors in the 332-runner race, finishing the 6-kilometer event in a time of 21 minutes, 22 seconds. The overall winner came from Ithaca, as Taryn Cordani cross the line first in 20:45 to earn medalist honors.

The Maroons saw all seven runners place in the Top 75, as Cassidy McPherson was the next finisher in 42nd (23:03), followed by the tight pack of Kelsey Dunn (58th place, 23:13), Claire Costelloe (64th, 23:19), Claire Brockway (68th place, 23:23), Maggie Boudreau (69th place, 23:23) and Lucy Kenig-Ziesler (72nd place, 23:24).

That pack running helped UChicago place in the Top 10 in a race that featured 14 of the Top 35 teams in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III poll – and six of the Top 10.

Top-ranked Johns Hopkins won the team race with 74 points, third-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology was second and fourth-ranked SUNY Geneso took third in the 36-team event.

The UChicago men's squad placed a solid 15th in the 38-team race, which featured 14 of the Top 25 teams in the lastest USTFCCA Division III ranking, including six of the top 10. The Maroons entered the race unranked.

UChicago was led again by first-year Ryan Cutter, who just missed a spot in the Top 30 with his 31st place 8K finish at 25:48. Sophomore Ralph Patejunas was the next Maroon finisher in 79th (26:24), followed by Jacob Gosselin in 94th (26:36).

Jordan Olson (105th, 26:41), Andrew Kates (123rd, 26:50), Charles Gardner (125th, 26:51) and Owen Melia (161st, 27:17) also scored for UChicago, with six of seven runners placing in the Top 150 in the 354-runner event.

North Central College won the team race with 47 points, S.U.N.Y. Geneso – led by overall medalist Issac Garcia-Cassani (24:41) was second and Pomona-Pitzer took third in the premier event.

UChicago Women's Cross Country Top Finishers
Khia Kurtenbach – 2nd place, 21:22
Cassidy McPherson – 42nd place, 23:03
Kelsey Dunn – 58th place, 23:13
Claire Costelloe – 64th place, 23:19
Claire Brockway – 68th place, 23:23
Maggie Boudreau, 69th place, 23:23
Lucy Kenig-Ziesler, 72nd place, 23:24


UChicago Men's Cross Country Top Finishers
Ryan Cutter – 31st place, 25:48
Ralph Patejunas – 79th place, 26:24
Jacob Gosselin – 94th place, 26:36
Jordan Olson – 105th place, 26:41
Andrew Kates – 123rd place, 26:50
Charles Gardner – 125th place, 26:51
Owen Melia – 161st place, 27:17


    Saturday, Oct. 28: UChicago at UAA Championships at NYU, 11 a.m. ET.