ASU cross country kicks off season in Flagstaff

The Sun Devils kicked off their 2017 season at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff

ASU kicked off the first cross country meet of the season Saturday afternoon at the George Kyte Classic at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

The meet was packed with competitors from NAU, UCLA, Grand Canyon University, UA and ASU. 

ASU’s men's team finished third overall with a score of 100 behind NAU and UCLA. ASU’s women’s team had a better outcome with a second place team finish with 62 points.

The men’s team competed first in a 4.5 mile run, with Nick Dale, Brandon Boys and Michael Renner as the Sun Devils' top competitors. 

Dale, a redshirt junior, finished in 14th place with a time of 24:02.5. Last season, Dale finished in 16th place at the George Kyte Classic. 

"I thought it was a good opener. We still have some work to do because UCLA and NAU, who we compete against a lot were pretty far ahead of us. But it’s early in the season, we can get there," Dale said. "I think we need to group up with each other more. We were a little more spread out than I like, but I think when a couple of injured people come back, we’ll be good to go."

Boys, a redshirt junior, finished in 19th with a time of 24:29.6 and sophomore Renner finished in 21st place with a time of 24:44.9.

Further finishes from the men included: Jackson Lewis at 24:48.5, Ryan Normand at 25:05.1 and Kyle Shinn at 26:04.3.

The women’s team raced in a 2.6 mile run. Top performers from the women included sophomore Daan Haven who recorded a time of 15:52.4, earning her 8th place.

"It was a really surprising race, the outcome of it," Haven said. "I didn’t expect to be top 10, but that was also my goal. It was really good, I had fun and the course is actually a lot like how home is – the terrain is very similar." 

Redshirt sophomore Anna Pruter came right behind Haven with a 9th place finish of 15:54.5 and freshman Angela Saitta ran 16:13.1 for a 12th place finish. 

Other finishes from the women included: Alexis Nichols at 16:21.7, Chamique Duboise at 16:25.6, Billie Dytrt at 17:04.4, and Emily Gallegos-Francksen at 17:06.6. 

Head coach Jeremy Rasmussen saw this meet as "a great marker of where we're at and where we want to go."

Rasmussen said he plans on making some improvements to both the men's and women's team. 

"We're still missing some pieces on the women's side," he said. "It's nice to be able to come out and put some tallies on the win column and really be able to carry some confidence from this meet."

The Sun Devils will compete next in the Dave Murray Invitation on Sep. 15 in Tucson.

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