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OSU cross-country starts season with Cowboy Duals

Cowgirl Cross Country

Four Cowgirls finished in the top 20 positions Thursday morning at the Cowboy Duals in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Dark gray clouds dominated the sky Thursday morning, but bright orange jerseys dominated the Oklahoma State cross-country course.

Three Cowboys stomped simultaneously on the finish line to win the Cowboy Duals.

Josh Thompson, Christian Liddell and Luis Martinez completed the 5,000-meter race in 15:47.7, but Thompson was given the official win.

“It’s nice to run the home course again,” Thompson said. “Getting a win boosts our confidence and lets everyone know they can run a fast time on this course, especially with all of the hills.”

Three other Cowboys raced Thursday morning. Anthoney Armstrong finished in seventh with a time of 16:06.2; Sukhi Khosla finished in 21st with a time of 16:36.3; and Brigham Hedges finished in 27th with a time of 17:41.7.

For the women, Arkansas’ Carina Viljoen won the 3,000-meter race with a time of 10:35.5. OSU’s Savannah Camacho came in fourth place with a time of 10:42.5.

“It was fun,” Camacho said. “It was a nice little low-key meet.”

Four other Cowgirls finished in the top 20 positions. Natalie Baker ran the race in 10:51.7; Anna Boyert ran the race in 10:57.6; Jenny Celis ran the race in 11:00.4; and Kaytlyn Larson ran the race in 11:08.4.

The consensus from runners in the women’s program is that they feel they can be a podium team at nationals.

“I think the energy is great, even better than last year,” Camacho said. “I think we just keep wanting more and more for ourselves, and we keep setting our goals higher and higher. This year we have really big goals, and I think we have the people and the attitude to do it.”

Coach Dave Smith omitted many of his top runners. Notable omissions include Kaela Edwards and Aurora Dybedokken for the women, and Cerake Geberkidane, Sylvester Barus and Hassan Abdi for the men.

Despite the lack of competition from his best runners, Smith is comfortable with where his teams are at physically.

“I think my philosophy is kind of start a little lower intensity and build the intensity as the competitions go,” Smith said. “So, you’re always building towards the end of the year. The meaningful races are at the end of the year, and we kind of want to build into those.”

sports@ocolly.com