The Maneater

Missouri women’s cross-country wins JK Gold Classic

Both the women’s and men’s teams came out strong to open the season.

The Mizzou cross country team practices at the Audrey J. Walton Track Stadium on Sep. 13, 2016. Maneater File Photo

Coming off historic fall 2016 and spring 2017 seasons, Missouri cross-country opened up its 2017 fall season at the JK Gold Classic in Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday. The two teams got off to strong starts as the women’s cross-country team led a field of four teams behind the performance of sophomore Jordyn Kleve, while the men’s team, led by senior Marc Dubrick, finished second.

Kleve finished fourth with a time of 14:09.2 in the women’s 4K, closely followed by seniors Kaitlyn Fischer and Megan Cunningham, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with the same time of 14:09.3.

The first-place finish for the women’s team highlighted the Tigers’ depth and proved they can compete without their two returning All-American seniors Karissa Schweizer and Jamie Kempfer, who did not travel to Saturday’s meet.

Coach Marc Burns was impressed by the performances from Kleve, Fischer and Cunningham and lauded the depth that the three provide.

“The first three women ran very controlled and it was a good sign to see them stick together the whole way,” Burns said in a press release. “We have some good depth on the women's team and that is encouraging moving forward."

The men’s team was led by a close pack. Dubrick led the way for the Tigers, finishing sixth with a time of 18:49.1 in the men’s 6K, while sophomores Thomas George and Michael Widmann finished right behind in seventh and eighth with times of 18:53.9 and 18:54.1, respectively.

Freshmen Jenna Lutzow and Justin Loquercio led the group of 12 Missouri runners making their debuts Saturday, finishing eighth for the women’s team and ninth for the men’s team, respectively.

Burns was impressed with the sudden rise of Loquercio after he redshirted last season.

“On the men's side, we are really excited about the jump Justin Loquercio has made,” Burns said in the press release. “He has put himself in position to help us get better.”

Freshman Austin Hindman will have to wait for his debut. According to Burns, he was held out with a minor ankle injury as he prepares for the junior men’s World Triathlon Grand Final on Sept. 16 in the Netherlands.

Both teams will compete next on Sept. 16 at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tennessee.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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