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It's usually hard to decipher how good a cross country team can be based on season openers. Various factors such as current training block, pre-planned effort level, and overall lack of fitness this far out from November can influence these "low-key meet" results. However, every few years a team does something out of the ordinary that can garner some attention.
Back in 2014 the Colorado men turned some heads with their season opener at their home meet the Rocky Mountain Shootout. And this year the three-time defending champions have done something similar running four underclassmen into the top-15 all-time course record books.
- Sophomore Ryan Raff broke Matt McElroy's course record by 28 seconds.
- True freshman Drew Bosley ran the exact same time as Futsum did back in 2014 where he went onto finish third at NCAAs.
- Redshirt freshman Abdi Nur ran side-by-side with returning All-American Luis Grijalva.
- Redshirt freshman Brodey Hasty broke 22:30 over 4.5 miles at 7,000 feet.
- Redshirt freshman Theo Quax (not listed below) ran the 26th-fastest mark all-time at 22:48.
- Returning All-Americans Geordie Beamish and Blaise Ferro rested for this meet.
These fast results, according to coach Mike Smith, were due to the presence of a Japanese university entered in the race. Tokai University's distance group has been training in Flagstaff the past few weeks. And while typically this race goes out in 5:00-5:10 in the opening mile, the competition pushed the opening mile pace to 4:48.
"...we had an interesting battle with Tokai University which was really fun for us," coach Smith said to NAU's athletic department. "The pace was really fast. It made the race a lot harder from the beginning, going at that pace was a tough grueling effort for our guys. It was good training because it was maybe a little harder than what our guys expected."
George Kyte Classic Top 15 Performances (Since 2006)
|RNK||ATHLETE||YR||TEAM||TIME||MILE PACE||YEAR||NCAA FINISH|
*2013 was an 8k race as opposed to a 4.5 mile race.