Bienenfeld Runs to Second All-America Honor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second time in his career, Aaron Bienenfeld captured All-America honors in cross country with his 18th-place finish Saturday at the 2021 NCAA Championships in Tallahassee. On the women's side, the Ducks were paced by a top-65 individual finish by Aneta Konieczek.
In the team races, the UO women posted a 24th-place finish while the men finished in 29th place.
Bienenfeld, in his first season with the Men of Oregon, navigated the 10K course at Apalachee Regional Park in 29:18.0 to secure his second All-America award in the calendar year. Saturday's time represents his fastest effort at an NCAA Championships meet. In March while competing for Cincinnati, Bienenfeld finished 16th at the COVID-delayed national meet.
For the UO women, Konieczek crossed in 64th place overall to finish atop the team's lineup for the first time this season. The all-region performer improved 151 spots from her 2019 outing for the Ducks. She posted a time of 20:14.7 at Saturday's national meet. Konieczek and Caramia Mestler, who was sixth in the lineup, were the only UO women with past experience at the NCAA Championships.
Alessia Zarbo (137th place overall), Malia Pivec (142nd), Emilie Girard (154th), Harper McClain (166th) and Nicole Louw (237th) were all making their debuts at the national meet. Mestler (167th) also recorded a career-high finish at the NCAA Championships, up nearly 60 spots from her showing in 2019.
In the men's race, Bienenfeld was followed by Jack Yearian who was 154th overall and second in the UO lineup. The Tacoma, Wash., native turned in the fastest NCAA time of his career, crossing in 30:38.0 on the Apalachee course. The remainder of the Ducks' top five—Abdinasir Hussein, Quincy Norman, Caleb Brown—were all running in their first NCAA meet.
Cooper Teare ran with the leaders through the first half of Saturday's race but began to fall back and struggled through the finish line. He received medical attention from on-site personnel following the men's 10K. He was later cleared to return to the team tents.
24. Women of Oregon – 534 points
64. Aneta Konieczek – 20:14.7 (53)
137. Alessia Zarbo – 20:44.6 (111)
142. Malia Pivec – 20:45.1 (114)
154. Emilie Girard – 20:49.2 (123)
166. Harper McClain – 20:54.0 (133)
167. Caramia Mestler – 20:54.1 (134)
237. Nicole Louw – 21:58.4 (201)
29. Men of Oregon – 655 points
18. Aaron Bienenfeld – 29:18.0 (15)
154. Jack Yearian – 30:38.0 (128)
198. Abdinasir Hussein – 31:08.3 (166)
199. Quincy Norman – 31:08.9 (167)
212. Caleb Brown – 31:26.1 (179)
231. Reed Brown – 31:54.4 (195)
247. Cooper Teare – 33:00 (211)
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