ASU cross country competes in Dave Murray Invitational

The women took second and the men took third on Friday night

ASU cross country headed down to Tucson to compete in the Dave Murray Invitational Friday.

The Sun Devils set their sights on improving from their last meet, adding team captains redshirt senior John Reniewicki and redshirt senior Chelsey Albertson back into the team lineup. 

Both teams finished in the same place they did in their previous meet. The men's team finished third overall with a score of 57, behind UA and Grand Canyon University. The ASU women’s team had a second place finish with a score of 32 points, behind only UA. 

This meet was more demanding for the Sun Devils than their previous meet because the distances were longer. In the previous meet, the men raced in a 4.5-mile run and the women in a 2.6-mile run.

Friday, the men competed in a 6k race, while the women competed in a 4k race.

“As a team, today was definitely not our best day … We’re definitely going to take a step back, keep it simple, not panic,” Reniewicki said. “The big thing for us moving forward is just to be prepared for that moment in the race when it starts to hurt.”

Top finishers for the men were Reniewicki, redshirt junior Ryan Normand and freshman Jackson Lewis

Reniewicki had a finish time of 19:41. Normand finished in 11th place with a time of 20:10. Following just six seconds behind was Lewis with a 12th place finish. 

“Personally, a little disappointed in how I did, I was like 30 seconds slower than last year, but I know that I’m going to continue to get better and be ready to roll in the bigger meets,” Reniewicki said. 

The women’s top finishers were redshirt senior Chelsey Albertson, sophomore Cecile Lejeune and junior Samantha Ortega

Albertson finished in second place with a time of 14:04, Lejeune in fifth place with a time of 14:33 and Ortega with a sixth place finish at 14:40. 

In their previous meet sophomore Daan Haven finished first for the ASU women, but this meet she did not compete. If Haven were to have been added, the coaching staff was not quite sure whether it would have made a difference.

“It’s tough to say because you also don’t know the gamesmanship of what’s going on at U of A or NAU,” assistant coach Cory Leslie said. “You don’t know what every team is doing, so it’s hard to say how (having Daan) shifts or changes things. The race was also 4k and 6k for the men, so increasing the distance by 2k is a substantial difference too.”

Further finishes from the men were redshirt junior Nick Dale at 20:41, freshman Erik Gonzales at 20:46, redshirt junior Brandon Boys at 20:50 and sophomore Michael Renner at 21:06.

Further finishes from the women were redshirt sophomore Anna Pruter at 15:00, sophomore Alexis Nichols at 15:03, freshman Angela Saitta at 15:13, senior Billie Jo Dytrt at 15:22, and freshman Emily Gallegos-Francksen at 15:43. 

“So for her to be able to come out and to actually put in a good quality run is great,” head coach Jeremy Rasmussen said. “Sam continues to get better and better with more and more work, the longer the distance, the better Sam is.” 

The Sun Devils will compete next in the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reach the reporter at or follow @CCydeni on Twitter.

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