ASU cross country struggles at Pre-National Invitational

The men took last place and the women took 22nd over the weekend

ASU cross country competed in the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky at 'Tom' Sawyer State Park on Saturday morning. 

This year's NCAA Cross Country Championships will also take place there on Nov. 18.

The ASU men's team finished in last place place, while the women's team finished in 22nd place. 

The ASU men’s team competed in the 8K race, and the women’s team competed in the 6K race, but neither team competed in the third or fourth race, which was the unseeded race. 

In the first race, the ASU men's team finished in 41st place with a score of 1096 points. 

The men struggled to keep up with the tough competition. Their top finisher, redshirt senior John Reniewicki, finished in 90th place at 24:25.4. 

The next finisher was redshirt junior Nick Dale, with a 248th place finish at 25:50.2, and behind him was freshman Jackson Lewis in 258th place at 25:58.9. 

The men's team's final three runners finished in the bottom 20 of 282 finishes. Those men were freshman Erik Gonzales at 26:10.4, redshirt sophomore Alexander Stevens at 26:27.1, and sophomore Michael Renner at 26:38.9. 

In the second race, the women had better results with a 22nd place finish out of 43 teams and a score of 606 points. 

The women's team's top finisher was junior Samantha Ortega with a 79th place finish at 20:59.8. Very shortly behind her was redshirt senior Chelsey Albertson with an 81st place finish at 21:02.0. 

The third finisher for the ASU women was sophomore Courtney Lewis

“Racing every weekend can be challenging at the collegiate level, and one of the things we want to continually do is get great workouts in because that’s where you make your real change and take big steps forward,” head coach Jeremy Rasmussen said.  

“We did a really good job in our workouts this week – it just didn’t translate to our racing this weekend, unfortunately. Not racing last weekend, we got some really good work it, and I think that was more valuable than a race.”

The Sun Devils will compete next in the ASU Cross Country Invitational on Friday Oct. 20 in Tempe, AZ. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @CCydeni on Twitter.

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