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Rory Linkletter And BYU Counter NAU With Dominant Pre-Nationals Win

Rory Linkletter broke the tape today in 23:08.4 to win the adidas DI Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky, leading his No. 2-ranked BYU squad to a dominant 41-point victory over No. 10 Colorado (118 points) and No. 6 Oregon (129 points). Connor McMillan (sixth, 23:13.2), Casey Clinger (seventh, 23:17), Clayton Young (12th, 23:25), and Daniel Carney (15th, 23:25.3) all finished within the top 15 with an impressive 17-second spread for the Cougars, which No. 8-rated Linkletter said in his post-race interview he hoped would send a message back to NAU's dominant Wisconsin win on Friday.


The rest of the team results saw No. 16 Virginia Tech take fourth (148 points), No. 20 Ole Miss fifth (193 points), and No. 23 Utah State sixth (312 points), as No. 5-ranked Arkansas finished just ninth in the field with 374 points as top-five scorer Andrew Ronoh did not compete and Austen Dalquist did not finish.

For much of the race, it appeared as though a trio of runners from Campbell might sweep the top three spots as No. 24-ranked Amon Kemboi, No. 17 Lawrence Kipkoech, and Meshack Kipruto set a pace of 14:34 through 5K and extended a lead on the field.

But nearing the final 400m, Virginia Tech's Peter Seufer and Liberty's Azaria Kirwa caught the group and took over the lead with No. 9 Dillon Maggard of Utah State in tow. It appeared as though Seufer had the advantage as the finish line neared, but that was when Linkletter dropped a ferocious kick for the win.

Seufer took second place in 23:10.4 while Kemboi was third in 23:11.1 and Kirwa finished fourth in 23:11.4.
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