Men Of Oregon Capture Dellinger
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Thursday was the beginning of Cooper Teare's last go-round as a Duck, and conversely the first go-round in green and yellow for Izzy Thornton-Bott.
They both ended the same way: with first-place finishes at the Bill Dellinger Invitational.
Teare led a first-place team finish for the Men of Oregon over the 8-kilometer course at Pine Ridge Golf Club, leading a 1-2 individual finish for the Ducks with new teammate Aaron Bienenfeld, a senior transfer. On the women's side, recent transfer Thornton-Bott competed as an individual and ran the 6k course in 20 minutes, 4.6 seconds, while her teammates recorded a sixth-place finish as a group.
Teare, who considered turning pro after winning the NCAA Outdoor 5,000-meter title in the spring, won a collegiate cross country race for the first time in his storied career.
"Only took like four-and-a-half years," Teare said, tongue in cheek.
Thornton-Bott, who began her collegiate career in Australia, crossed first in her first NCAA race; she'll be eligible to compete as a member of the UO team as of the Ducks' next competition.
"It was my first NCAA race," Thornton-Bott said. "… So really I was like, let's just have some fun with it."
Men's 8k | Full Results
1. Oregon — 57 points
1. Cooper Teare (1) — 23:05.1
2. Aaron Bienenfeld (2) — 23:06.6
11. Abdinasir Hussein (11) — 23:33.8
17. Reed Brown (17) — 23:36.1
26. Jack Yearian (26) — 23:43.0
31. Jackson Mestler (31) — 23:52.7
33. Caleb Brown (33) — 23:55.4
63. Steve Neumaier — 24:24.7
71 Matt Wisner — 24:29.0
75. Quincy Norman — 24:33.9
98. Elliott Cook — 24:55.4
122. Luis Peralta — 25:36.0
Like now departed former teammate Cole Hocker, Teare agonized over the decision to stay in school or turn professional this past summer. Hocker was at Thursday's race as a spectator, but Teare was back in an Oregon uniform, racing for the Ducks.
"I felt like I've accomplished a lot, but I have a lot of faith in this team and I couldn't be more happy at Oregon," Teare said.
Teare, Beinenfeld, Reed Brown, Jack Yearian, Jackson Mestler and Caleb Brown maintained close contact for the first couple of kilometers Thursday, before the pack began to stretch out. Abdinasir Hussein made a strong push over the latter half of the race to join Oregon's scoring group, and Bienenfeld passed two competitors from runner-up Gonzaga in the final mile to make it a 1-2 finish with Teare.
Bienenfeld is a native of Germany who began his collegiate career at Cincinnati. He was fifth in the NCAA Indoor 5,000 meters last spring, and just three days later took 16th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Bienenfeld qualified for the cross country championships as an individual, but has joined a group in Eugene with aspirations of a team title later this fall.
"I have to say that's a new feeling; I'm not really used to that," Bienenfeld said. "But I welcome it, and I think that's just the last thing I need to make that next step. If we keep up the mentality, we can do great things as a team."
Women's 6k | Full Results
6. Oregon — 175 points
22. Alessia Zarbo (20) — 20:33.4
28. Harper McClain (26) — 20:37.9
39. Dania Holmberg (37) — 20:53.9
48. Anika Thompson (45) — 21:03.0
50. Malia Pivec (47) — 21:04.5
58. Caramia Mestler (54) — 21:10.9
73. Nicole Louw (68) — 21:18.0
110. Melissa Berry — 21:56.4
Coming off a team title at the season-opening Lewis & Clark Invitational, the UO women were in contention early Thursday before being strung out throughout the pack over the latter stages.
Alessia Zarbo followed up her individual title in the opener by leading the Ducks' team scorers again Thursday.
Thorton-Bott was in the lead group throughout, racing off the starting line with Hannah Reinhardt, who also competed Thursday as an individual. A standout in the 800 and 1,500 in Australia, Thornton-Bott decided to see if she could hang on Thursday when the other leaders made a push just over 4 kilometers into the race.
"That was a risk for me," she said. "But I was like, well, this is it. Let's see what you've got."
Up Next: The regular season wraps up for the Ducks at the Nuttycombe Invitational hosted by Wisconsin on Oct. 15 and the Lewis & Clark Invitational in Lake Oswego on Oct. 16. Postseason racing begins with the Pac-12 Championships hosted by Utah on Oct. 29.
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