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#12 Cross Country Headed to Stacked Nuttycombe Invitational

Oct 12, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – The 12th-ranked Utah cross country team will get a taste of the NCAA Championships field this Friday, Oct. 14, when it toes the line with 35 other teams across the country at the Zimmer Championship Course for the 2022 edition of the Nuttycombe Invitational.
The women's race is set for 11:20 p.m. (MT) / 12:20 p.m. (CT) local and will be live-streamed on with a paid subscription.
DATE: Friday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Zimmer Championship Course (Course Map)
WHEN: 11:20 a.m. (MT) / 12:20 p.m. (CT)
PARTICIPANTS: Air Force, #14 Arkansas, #5 BYU, #RV Boise State, #7 Colorado, #22 Colorado State, Duke, #24 Florida State, Furman, #13 Georgetown, #RV Gonzaga, #30 Harvard, Indiana, Iowa State, #18 Michigan, #17 Michigan State, #RV Minnesota, #1 NC State, #2 New Mexico, #11 North Carolina, #4 NAU, #21 Oregon, #RV Oregon State, Portland, Princeton, #15 Syracuse, #RV Toledo, Tulsa, #12 Utah, #23 Utah State, #19 Utah Valley, #9 Washington, #28 Wisconsin (Host)
UTAH PARTICIPANTS: Keelah Barger, Karli Branch, Kylie Hartnett, Morgan Jensen, Ariel Keklak, Brooke Manson, Lauren Peterson, Simone Plourde, Maddie Reed, Claire Rusovick, Emily Venters, Erin Vringer
Head coach Kyle Kepler will go with the same 12 he brought to Minnesota for the Roy Griak invitational this week at the Nuttycombe Invitational. Keelah Barger and Emily Venters lead the 12th-ranked Utes with three individual victories between the two of them. Barger has two victories to her name from the 2020 season that was pushed to the spring of 2021 while Venters recently took the Roy Griak crown.
Meanwhile, the rest of the line up consists of veterans in Karli Branch, Morgan Jensen, Ariel Keklak, Brooke Manson, Lauren Peterson, Simone Plourde, Maddie Reed and Claire Rusovick with plenty of top-5 and top-10 finishes throughout their career to go along with a pair of strong freshmen in Erin Vringer and Kylie Hartnett.
All eyes will be on the Nuttycombe Invitational this Friday, Oct. 14, with 20 of the top-30 ranked teams in the country all competing at the Zimmer Championship Course – including four of the top-5 teams in the country. In addition, there will also be five other teams that received votes in the USTFCCCA National Poll at the race.
Senior Emily Venters captured her first collegiate victory at the Roy Griak Invitational when she crossed the finish line with a time of 20:33.2 – which was the fifth-fastest time since the race lengthened to 6k in 2000. Her also registered the fastest time since Deborah Maier of California won the race with a time of 20:29.2 in 2011.

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The Women of Utah came out victorious for its first win of the year back on Sept. 23 at the Roy Griak Invitational behind a spectacular race from Emily Venters – who gave Utah the sweep after capturing the individual title with a winning time of 20:33.2. She was followed by fellow training mate Keelah Barger in fourth at 20:46.5 while Ariel Keklak rounded the senior trio with a time of 21:18.0 for 17th. Coming off a non-injury illness, Simone Plourde powered through at the end and finished in 29th (21:37.4) while freshman Erin Vringer followed suit and jumped 25 spots in the final 1k to come in 34th (21:43.2).

With Utah winning the team title, it also marked the first time a Pac-12 school had won the Roy Griak Invitational since Arizona back in 2013 and also marked the 10th time a Pac-12 program has won the race since its inception back in 1986.
The Utes hang tight at #12 in the USTFCCCA National Polls after another idle week. Utah moved down just one spot to No. 12 on Oct. 12 since making the jump to #11 after its victory at the Roy Griak Invitational.
The Women of Utah will host its annual Utah Open next Thursday, Oct. 20, at Sunnyside Park starting with the women's race at 1 p.m. (MT) followed by the men at 1:45 p.m. (MT). Attendance is free for all spectators. Utah will then have a couple weeks to rest up and train for the championship season before heading to Riverside, Calif., for the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Friday, Oct. 28, at the UC Riverside Ag-Ops Course – which will broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
For the latest news and information on the Utah cross country and track & field programs, fans can stay connected online at and on social media by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.