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XC: OSU At Inter-Regional Jamboree Friday

Oct 3, 2013

CORVALLIS, Ore. – After an extended break which came on the heels of its highly successful start to the 2013 season, the Oregon State cross country team will be back on the course for the first time in three weeks at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree on Friday, Oct. 4.

The meet is being hosted by Sacramento State at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in California’s state capital and will serve as a West Regional preview, which takes place on Nov. 15. The women’s 5K begins at 10:30 a.m.

The Beavers will be traveling and racing a group of nine that includes Kinsey Gomez, Emily Weber, Holly Cavalluzzo, Sandra Martinez, Kristiane Width, Taylor Nowlin, Kira Kelly, Aly Nielson and Adrienne Demaree.

That group has propelled Oregon State to regional and national recognition already this season. The Beavers are currently ranked No. 7 in the West Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), their highest position in the polls in five years. The six schools ahead of OSU are all nationally ranked with the top four hailing from the Pac-12.

“I want to get some confidence out of it and be able to compete in a field that has a lot more depth to it,” Oregon State assistant coach Laura Harmon said of her expectations tomorrow. “It’s a bigger field too because so far we’ve been in pretty small meets.”

Seven of the 19 competing women's teams are ranked regionally including San Francisco, which is ranked 24th in the nation and fifth in the West Region and UC Davis, which is right behind the Dons in the region at No. 6. Joining those two along with Oregon State as entries that are receiving votes in the West Region are UCLA (No. 9), Cal Poly (No. 11), California (No. 13) and Sacramento State (No. 15).

The 19 teams competing are more than double the seven that were entered the last time the Beavers raced at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle on Sept. 14. In that meet, OSU finished second only to the host Washington Huskies, currently ranked seventh in the nation.

“It’s always about beating as many people as you can in a race,” Harmon said of the size of the field. “A bigger field gives you more people to run with and to try and move up with. Last time out for example, Sandra [Martinez] was in a really big gap between two groups and ended up running the majority of the race alone. In races like Friday you probably aren’t going to have that same type of situation.”

At the Sundodger, Oregon State’s scorers consisted of three freshmen in Weber (redshirt), Cavalluzzo and Width along with the junior Gomez and senior Martinez. Weber, who didn’t race last fall, gained valuable experience throughout the spring track and field season, while Cavalluzzo and Width are getting more comfortable with each passing day.

“I think that they’re getting a little bit more comfortable, but at the same time with both in the top five in their first two meets, I think they’ve put higher expectations on themselves,” Harmon said of Cavalluzzo and Width. “In reality, they’re prepared for it so they just need to go out and do what they’re doing in practice every single day. I think it’s inevitable that they’re going to be nervous because it’s their first bigger meet, but that’s our jobs as coaches – to try and calm them down and help them keep perspective on the whole thing.”

In Sacramento, Oregon State is expected to be led by Kinsey Gomez, who in Seattle on Sept. 14 finished just one second shy of the school record on a 6K course. Friday’s 5K course is flat and well-maintained and consists of an outer and inner horseshoe layout.

The Beavers will also send another group to the Charles Bowles Invitational at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. on Saturday. The women’s 5K for Division I entries begins at 10:15 a.m.